Joel Fox, a former captain under Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was at the heart of the SCA campaign-finance scandal, lost his appeal to get his job back today.
Fox can still appeal to Superior Court. But the unanimous vote by the merit board sure makes odds of a reversal appear slim.
See our article from earlier today about Fox's role in Arpaio's 2008 campaign-finance scandal, which could have earned the sheriff or key cronies like his former chief deputy a criminal charge but for the recent decision by the feds to halt an investigation into alleged illegal activities by current and former employees of the Sheriff's and County Attorney's offices.
Read Hearing Officer Robert Sparks' conclusions below. Basically, Sparks found Fox a very unconvincing liar. If you've been reading New Times articles about Fox in the last four years, you already knew that.
The five members of the merit commission are:
Alberto Gutier, Chairman, District 3
William Lally, Vice Chairman, District 1
Sean Lake, District 2
Larry Pickard, District 4
David Hernandez, District 5
Fox has filed so much court paperwork in the last four years that he may have a career in the legal field ahead of him. Or perhaps Arpaio's former chief deputy, Dave Hendershott, could hire Fox to help with his private investigation business.
Arpaio hasn't been held accountable for the SCA scandal, or even answered questions about it.
Fox took the fall for him.
We won't burden you with Sparks' full 130-page report. Below are the main findings by Sparks:
Click here for Hearing Officer Robert Sparks' conclusions about Fox following the appeal hearings that began in January. (We've truncated part of this report for your convenience -- the incomplete sentence in the beginning describes how Fox's assertion that he was answering a different question then asked is not credible. You can follow along easily from there...)
In his findings, Sparks destroys Fox's illogical arguments one by one. For instance, Fox claimed he hadn't seen Arpaio's 400-pound chief deputy, Dave Hendershott, at a restaurant meeting with Republican Party operative Chris Baker to turn over an $80,000 check from the SCA slush fund. Sparks notes that Baker, former Deputy Chief Larry Black and Hendershott have all stated that Hendershott introduced Baker to Fox.
Sparks writes that Hendershott set up the meeting, so it makes sense that his version -- which was supported by statements by Black and Baker -- was correct. Therefore, "Fox had to see Hendershott..." Sparks finds.
Click here to read the county's response to Sparks' findings. Essentially, the county concurs with Sparks that Fox violated county policy by bring untruthful on eight separate occasions -- but the county says Sparks erred by not referring to two admitted violations of state election law by Fox.
If you want to leave the light of day and descend back into Fox's rabbit hole, read Fox's response to Sparks' findings.
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