Feathered Bastard

Levi Johnston's Druggie Mom Gets the Joe Arpaio Pink Handcuff Treatment

So what's this deal about hockey-stud Levi Johnston's druggie ma having Sheriff Joe Arpaio's pink handcuffs slapped on her in an Alaska courtroom after pleading guilty for illegally possessing OxyContin, aka, "The Rush Limbaugh Drug"?

You'll recall that Levi is the 19-year-old who impregnated Bristol Palin, Wasilla-wackjob Sarah Palin's kid. During the 2008 campaign, Bristol and Levi made nicey-nice for the cameras, but their relationship went south after Bristol popped out baby Tripp in December.

In any case, how does Sheriff Joe enter into all this? Well, it seems Levi's mother Sherry Johnston, 43, is going to the pen for receiving some OxyContin pills in the mail and selling ten of them to a police informant. She copped to a plea deal on Wednesday, and was taken away in pink cuffs from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Reporting for the Anchorage Daily News, scribe Rindi White made note of ma Johnston's reaction to the jail-house accoutrement:

"`That's pretty,' Johnston said as a court officer placed pink handcuffs -- a gift from an Arizona sheriff -- around her wrists. Court officers can use their own handcuffs, and the pink ones are a trademark of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix's Maricopa County, along with the pink boxer shorts he issues to jail inmates."

So, what, is Arpaio mailing out pink restraints on the county dime now? Not so fast, Joe-bashers. The explanation is a little more mundane. According to Megan Peters, spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers, which oversees all court services officers, the cuffs were part of a gift package from some MCSO deputies, who were up in Alaska last year on official business.

Court services officer Pierre Burkett took the deputies fishing in their off time, and as a way of saying thanks, the officers sent Burkett some gifts from Cactus Country, including two pairs of pink handcuffs, an autographed poster of Sheriff Joe, and so on. Burkett uses one set of cuffs. His wife, a detention officer, uses the other set.

End of story? Pretty much. I'm just hoping that if the feds ever, finally, one day, maybe put cuffs on Arpaio for corruption, or for something, anything, that they use some pink ones, if only for irony's sake.

(PS: Thanks to former New Times staff writer and current associate editor of the Anchorage Press Brendan Joel Kelley for e-mailing me a link to the original Anchorage Daily News item.)

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