Sheriff Joe Arpaio Claims "No Knowledge" in Dirty Donation -- Who Believes Him?

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio gave perhaps his shortest comment on record in his 16 years in office in response to a reporter's question about the massive fine levied against one of his employee's for a campaign violation: "No knowledge. No comment."

Arpaio seems so unconcerned that the "Sheriff's Command Association" might actually be made up of folks high up in his organization (as its name implies) that this in itself is suspicious. An independent counsel hired by the County Attorney's office has deemed the $105,000 SCA donation to the Republican Party illegal.

You know, the same word that's in the phrase "illegal immigrant."

Why doesn't Arpaio say whether he's launched an internal investigation into the possibility that his command staff was involved in the Sheriff's Command Association's illegal donation? Can it be possible that he has "no knowledge" whatsoever? At all? For real?


And Fox's game of hide-the-ball is getting tiresome, isn't it? The East Valley Tribune quotes from an e-mail by Fox that was sent to the outside counsel hired by Andrew Thomas:

(Fox) wrote: "I understand that my reluctance to release this information may lead a person to believe that I have something to hide, but in truth there is but one reason to keep the information private: Donors to SCA were never informed their contribution would be made public and continue to maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy," he wrote. 

In other words, Fox has something to hide. And the donors clearly have something to hide.

A good question is whether the sheriff has something to hide, too. New Times staff writer Stephen Lemons has asked the question before.

But Arpaio's most prominent comment since the donation was declared illegal is "No knowledge. No comment." -- Ray Stern

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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