Joe Strikes Back

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Moreover, Joe's done nothing to keep his Fountain Hills address off-limits to any member of the public with two licks of sense and an Internet password. Know how to Google? Then you can find it.

Indeed, Dougherty's point in publishing the address wasn't so that some dastardly criminal could do harm to the sheriff. (Quite the contrary, our sincere hope at New Times is that someday we can see him thrown out of office for his behavior.) Rather, it was to show the absurdity of his home address' being readily available to any idiot with access to a computer when Joe used the very same law to justify hiding information on commercial real estate he owns ("Sheriff Joe's Real Estate Game," July 1, 2004).

Allow this foul fowl to emphasize: The sheriff redacted information that the rest of us would be legally obligated to provide on commercial holdings while providing his home address on documents strewn all over county and state offices and the Internet.

Dougherty's whole investigation started when he discovered that Arpaio'd plowed hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash into various Valley properties. It all looked fishy, considering the sheriff's spent his life as a humbly paid public official. Maybe the deals were on the up-and-up, and maybe not. Either way, New Times was eager to get to the bottom of things through very legal and very appropriate public records requests — which Joe continues to resist to this day.

While tracking the sheriff's real estate ventures, Dougherty discovered that many of Joe's records had been purged by the County Recorder's Office on Joe's demand. The kind of info ordinary schmos must have on file — deeds, mortgages, affidavits of value, and conveyances of title — had been redacted so no one could follow the money trail. Arpaio achieved this information blackout by means of the aforementioned law. But instead of just having his home address redacted, Arpaio had the recorder's clerks attempt to redact all info pertaining to his real estate transactions.

At the same time Dougherty came upon the redacted public documents on Arpaio's land deals, he discovered that the sheriff's home address — which the state law was enacted to protect — was available through a variety of entities, including the Arizona Corporation Commission and the county Elections Department. And last year, Dougherty pointed out that the sheriff's address was available online through the Web site of County Recorder Helen Purcell. And it still is! For example, check out this Recorder link providing the address for the Ava Investment Corporation:

The Corporation Commission also offers online the address of Ava Investment, the same address as the corporation's "agent" Ava Arpaio, and the corporation's "secretary," Joseph M. Arpaio. Matter of fact, you can view the file here:

Overlooking such government Web sites, even ditzy deb Paris Hilton could locate Arpaio's faux adobe abode on her sequin-encrusted T-Mobile Sidekick.

For a small fee, all of the following online background check sites will spit out the location of Joe and Ava's residence, whether you're a reporter, or just some doofus killin' time:;;; and

Additionally, Arpaio's address can be acquired gratis through; and, as long as you plug in Ava's moniker instead of Joe's. Just to make sure the Internet wasn't lying, this daring dodo asked for and received Arpaio's 2005 report from the County Board of Supervisors' clerk in a routine public records request. As was the case with the financial disclosure at the Recorder's Web site, the lawman's street address was on the first page.

The dwelling place of our bulbous-nosed sheriff is so ubiquitous, so easily obtainable online and off, that it instantly gives lie to the sheriff's claim that his address must be kept classified because of all the threats to his safety and the safety of his wife. This is such crap that Arpaio once kidded reporter Dougherty that he never took threats against himself seriously.

The implication was that the only reason he ever brought up an alleged threat was to get the media to take notice. You know, free pub.

Indeed, the sole incident regarding the sheriff's safety that The Bird could dig up is one the sheriff's stooges manufactured back in 1999, when they set up a con named James Saville to make it look like Saville was planning to plant a bomb beneath Arpaio's armored car outside the now-defunct Roman Table Restaurant ("The Plot to Assassinate Arpaio," August 5, 1999).

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