Feathered Bastard

Score another one for Mike Manning: Maricopa County and Sheriff Joe Arpaio lose to the tune of $2 million.

Yuk it up: Our clown of a constable just cost us another $2 mil.

Hear the giant sucking sound? That's another $2 million being drained from Maricopa County's tax coffers on behalf of those who've perished in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's gulags. Today the MC Board of Supervisors finally released details of the settlement agreement between the parents and children of Clint Yarbrough, who suffocated to death in one of Uncle Joe's notorious restraint chairs in December 2005, while being held prisoner in the Fourth Avenue Jail.

Take a look at the actual settlement document which indicates signings back in April. While Joe's been pinning badges on Spiderman and lusting after Paris Hilton, this agreement's been kept hidden from the citizenry, who ultimately have to foot the bill for the incompetence and brutality of the Sheriff's regime.

Last month, Arpaio was practically dancing a jig over the grave of Phillip Wilson, who was beaten into a coma in 2003 by Aryan Brotherhood members while in Tent City on a parole violation. Wilson never awoke from that coma, becoming yet another of Joe's many victims.

Arpaio could barely contain himself May 11 when a federal jury decided for him in a lawsuit brought on behalf of Wilson's parents by crusading anti-Arpaio attorney Mike Manning. Asshole Arpaio declared it a "great victory," in his subsequent news conference, stating,

"So this is all hype about these tents, about my jail system. It's hype by the press, by certain lawyers who want to destroy this sheriff."

As Arpaio gloated, he secretly knew he'd cost the taxpayers $2 mil in another case brought by the same lawyer, as Manning reps the Yarbrough family as well. Manning's asking for the Wilson case to be retried, so the Sheriff's triumph may turn out to be hollow.

How long will the Board of Supes continue to pay, and pay, and pay for this clownish constable's screw-ups? This $2 mil is only the latest in a long line of multimillion dollar settlements and judgments that we the people have to shell out because of our power-crazed top cop's sadism and stupidity.

And if you doubt the sadism part, check out CBS News Channel 5's footage of Yarbrough being "subdued" by officers while still in the restraint chair. This could be your son, your daughter, your life partner, or you. Think about it.

The Board of Supes forced Joe to give up his restraint chairs last year, which was a good thing. If they took a more proactive role, fewer would die, and the dollar drain could be reduced to a trickle. Public officials need to start standing up to this bulbous-nosed bully, not unlike AZ AG Terry Goddard has just begun to do.

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

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