Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Deputy Charley Armendariz Implicated MCSO "Command Staff," Says Activist Lydia Guzman

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"The DOJ was [on] the right track," reads another text. "They should have kept looking at command staff. Not the deputies."

A minute later, there's another, obscure message: "It keeps coming from the top."

There are other texts stating that he has "left" or is planning to "leave town." Guzman believes this refers to Armendariz's attempt to find another job.

"I'm still in town," reads another text. "But I feel I have to make right the wrong first."

She claims that in subsequent conversations, Armendariz confirmed that he sent these anonymous texts.

The phone number they were sent from is not currently in use.

Guzman said she again informed her contacts at the DOJ about Armendariz, forwarding all his communications to them as well as her notes of same. She says the DOJ advised her that he would need a lawyer.

She tried to find Armendariz an attorney, turning to ACLU lawyers and to other attorneys she knew in town.

The ACLU told her it could not talk privately with him, because he was a plaintiff's witness in Melendres and was represented by the MCSO's counsel.

Cecillia Wang, an attorney in California with the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and one of the ACLU lawyers on Melendres, said she could not comment on whether or not the ACLU had been approached by Guzman on behalf of Armendariz.

But she agreed that if the ACLU had been approached, it would not have been able to talk with Armendariz.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons