Josh Bernstein, an "investigative" reporter for Channel 15 (KNXV-TV) who was repeatedly praised by former County Attorney Andrew Thomas for his work, is hanging up his shiny shovel.
A memo obtained by New Times from ABC15 News Director Joe Hengemuehler states that Bernstein "has made a decision to close the ABC15 chapter of his life as an investigative reporter."
The memo goes on to say:
"Josh and I have been talking and agree that we really accomplished a lot during his time in the unit. Before he left today, he promised to let us know about his next great opportunity when the time is right. We will post and begin the search for a new investigative reporter immediately."
This is the same news director who, back in February, told Bernstein to "get that shovel out" and start digging on stories that were critical of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
You see, Bernstein had done a great job covering the story of how Maricopa County supervisors, judges, and local lawyers were under investigation by the offices of Arpaio and Thomas. But he sort of missed the part about how those investigations represented an apparent abuse of power by the lawmen.
After other reporters broke the story about a federal probe into the allegations surrounding Arpaio, Bernstein was reminded of a promise he'd made to go after the sheriff if need be.
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We're not aware that Bernstein ever did that.
However, he did screw up royally a couple of months later, in April, with a story -- based on anonymous sources -- that Arpaio was going to run for governor this year. The story turned out to be wrong.
We're not sure what led to Bernstein's decision to leave Channel 15. He didn't return a phone message.
One possible new assignment: Arpaio's chief deputy, Dave Hendershott is currently in desperate need of a PR specialist.