Sheriff Arpaio was Interviewed for 5 1/2 Hours in Munnell Investigation, Billing Records Show

Sheriff Joe Arpaio faced 5 1/2 hours of questioning in January as part of an investigation into a memo written by one of his top deputies that alleged corruption by his command staff.

The Arizona Republic dug up billing records that provide evidence of what had long been speculated: That the so-called Toughest Sheriff in America had to submit to an interrogation over the crimes and unprofessional behavior alleged against some of his closest aides.

Local private investigator Keith Sobraske conducted the internal investigation of Arpaio's men for Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who'd been asked to conduct it by Arpaio. Trusting the math of Repub veterans Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and JJ Hensley, the billings add up to $86,300 in total cost to Maricopa County taxpayers. It's one of Arpaio's less expensive messes, though the political cost can't be calculated until a few more factors are known -- such as whether any of this will lead to criminal charges.

As the billing records for January show (see below), Arpaio Arpaio was scheduled to be interviewed from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on January 12. With no reference to the need for rescheduling or any other preparation for another interview, it seems safe to assume the interview took place.

Not that you'd know it by the sheriff's mealy mouthed response to Repub reporters:

Arpaio on Wednesday declined to characterize the nature of his conversation with investigators.

"I'm not going to get into whether I was a witness," Arpaio said. "We have met quite frequently to discuss the investigation."Arpaio holds an advantage over the public, for the time being. He's so far refusing to release any portion of the 1,022-page investigative report by Sobraske, which he's had in his possession since last week.

Eventually, though, he'll have to let everybody see the full extent of what his style of leadership spawned.

Munnell Invoice Jan11


Munnell Invoice Feb11

March and April:

Munnell Invoice Apr11

The 2010 bills:


Munnell Invoice Oct10


Munnell Invoice Nov 10


Munnell Invoice Dec10

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern