From an authoritative book review on a book he never actually read to backlash from a cockfight with Steven Seagal, it's been a busy first six months of 2012 for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. With the Fourth of July upon us, it's only right that we honor this self-anointed American hero with a list of Arpaio's Top 5 Ridiculous Moments of 2012 (Thus Far...).
5. Arpaio Finds Abandoned Truck Full of Weed, Implies Illegals Did It
Back in April, the sheriff's office found an empty pick-up truck full of marijuana. Without any arrests made, Arpaio issued a press release concerning the incident, in which he announced that the sheriff's office would be launching a "drug and illegal alien crime suppression operation," -- a subtle or not-so-subtle implication that illegal immigrants were to blame for the person-less truck loaded with weed.
4. Arpaio Turns the Tables on the DOJ - Tables He'd Apparently Already Set
About that whole worst-pattern-of-racial-profiling-in-U.S.-History thing - well the U.S. Department of Justice concluded this back in December after an investigation of Arpaio and the MCSO. The DOJ set a deadline for Arpaio to agree to cooperate with the agency to reverse the MCSO's culture of unjust profiling. Arpaio met the deadline -- saving taxpayers from entering yet another pricey, sheriff-related lawsuit. But then he met the DOJ's deadline with a deadline of his own. He demanded that the DOJ send him the documents it used to reach its conclusions about MCSO. The DOJ in turn said he already had most of the evidence in his possession because it was his office that supplied it in the first place.
3. Demands Obama's Select Service Card
Earlier this year, the sheriff and his birther pals sent the Selective Service System a letter demanding that the system fork over President Obama's registration card, which Arpaio suspects was forged. The Selective Service is legally mandated to respond to document requests within a certain time-frame. Arpaio used this opportunity to make a hard-lined demand for a response within 30 days. The Select Service said no, and that there's no "credible evidence" that points to any problems. If there is "credible evidence" that the President's registration is inauthentic, then that's a matter for the FBI to handle.
2. Says Birther Book is All Wrong Without Actually Reading It
Only a chump would label a book "all wrong" without ever actually reading it. The book, "A Question of Credibility: A Conflict of Interest," accused the sheriff's office of mishandling the Obama birther investigation. We found the book's quality left much to be desired, but at least we read some of it.
1. Arpaio, Has-been Entertainers, Seagal and Cockfighters
There are worse things than being endorsed by washed-up 80s and 90s entertainers right? Actually -- tough call. But B-list celebrities from Chuck Norris to Ted Nugent keep sucking up to Arpaio, and it makes the sheriff giddy and prone to doing dumb things.
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In March, Arpaio and (in)action star Steven Seagal were slapped with a lawsuit because of one of the sheriff's stunts. The legal action stems from a cock-hunt the two pals embarked on last year. Arpaio, his officers and Seagal -- in full riot gear -- raided the home of a man suspected of organizing a cockfight. The stunt was filmed for Stephen Seagal's reality show, in which he's portrayed as a justice-seeking vigilante.
Good thing to know our crime-fighting dollars are being invested in worthwhile pursuits.
New Times writer Matt Hendley contributed to this article.