Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Ex-Deputy Chief Brian Sands Dishes Dirt on Steven Seagal, Birthers, and More in Arpaio De Facto Lawman

Page 3 of 3

Sands says Joe's self-centered attitude infects his subordinates, who cater to his whims.

And he maintains that it helps explain why Arpaio's civilian mouthpiece Lisa Allen is allowed sway over the organization, despite what Sands regards as her ignorance of law enforcement.

According to Sands, Allen repeatedly injects herself into MCSO operations, giving commands, and one time supposedly demanding that clowns and ice cream be provided during the evacuation of a neighborhood.

Interestingly, Sands claims that Arpaio repeatedly resisted a suggestion that he acquire a pet dog, though Arpaio's built himself up as a defender of animals, having himself photographed with puppies and kittens, and making the arrests of animal abusers a high priority.

"Arpaio once told me that the aggressive animal abuse image he developed was a political goldmine, as it brought a number of Democrats into his base," Sands writes. "That certainly became apparent as I would hear people say they were against Arpaio, but because he defended animals, he was great."

Similarly, Sands says that "early on" Arpaio confided that "the posse was important to him simply for votes," and that it led to an increase in his political base.

Whenever Arpaio needed to put on a "dog and pony show," the volunteer posse was there, though requiring non-volunteer supervision, paid for with tax dollars.

The most high-profile member of Arpaio's posse is cheesy, bloated action star Steven Seagal, whom Sands has openly criticized since leaving office.

Sands doubles-down on his dislike for Seagal in the memoir, claiming the wannabe cop initially asked Arpaio for a deputy's commission, but balked at taking the necessary steps to become certified by Arizona's Police Officers Standards and Training Board.

Rather, Seagal is inducted into the posse, and, according to Sands, is soon a major pain in the rear to deputies who have to field his high-maintenance demands.

Still, Arpaio always allows Seagal to get his way.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons