Yesterday, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu announced that after his office's investigation into misconduct by top deputies in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, he's determined that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio knew nothing of the misconduct.
Babeu claims that Arpaio became so insulated by now-fired Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott that the misconduct was allowed to go on right under his nose.
"This is a case of the gatekeepers becoming too powerful," Babeu said at a press conference yesterday. "[Arpaio] only gets the information that's filtered through Hendershott."
However, in several cases, MCSO commanders went to Arpaio directly to voice their complaints about Hendershott.
Our theory, as we noted yesterday, is as follows:
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Babeu, of course, is a highly ambitious politician in his own right. He never made Arpaio a target of the investigation, and he was careful not to criticize Arpaio too much in yesterday's news conference.
Follow the money. Arpaio's got a gravy train of political contributions and can pull in money from supporters nationwide. He frequently uses this power to prop up the politicians he likes. Babeu had an incentive to not run roughshod over Arpaio, because Arpaio might get pissed at him and ask people to support whoever runs against Babeu.
But we want to know what you think: did Arpaio know about the misconduct going on right under his nose, or was all of that information "filtered through Hendershott"?
Cast your vote below.