By Ray Stern
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio acted all angry today when asked if he had any comment on the lawsuit New Times filed against him, County Attorney Andrew Thomas and fired special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Andrew Thomas respond to questions about New Times' lawsuit and other issues at a news conference Tuesday.
As he explained to the media at a press conference at Thomas' office, what led to the lawsuit was the publication of Arpaio's name and address on New Times Web site back in 2004.
He took the pretense of anger so far, in fact, that he actually held up the December 21, 2006, edition of our newspaper for all to see -- the one on whose cover we published Arpaio's home address.
To continue the facade that what we had done was very bad, he even shook the copy of the paper a little as he glared at this reporter in the first row.
That's right. To make his point that the publication of his address has put his family "in jeopardy," Arpaio revealed his Fountain Hills address in a most blatant way:
He showed it in big, bold type to a roomful of camera-wielding print and TV journalists.
He did this because, obviously, he's not really worried about anybody getting his home address, which was widely available to anyone with an ounce of intelligence and an Internet connection long before New Times ever published it four years ago.
Also, if he's so worried about bad people finding out where he lives, why did he -- as the New Times lawsuit mentions -- mail out Partisan Nomination Petitions to citizens across the county last month that contained his home address.
This makes the feigned anger he displayed Tuesday over his address being published in New Times' Christmas card to him on its '06 cover all the more ridiculous.
The cover and the story it fronted were in response to prosecutors telling New Times that the sheriff was haranguing them to prosecute the paper for running his home address on its Web site in a column about his eyebrow-raising commercial real estate deals.
The point was, details about his commercial property were hidden on public Web sites, but there was his home address for all to see.
Fact is, getting all indignant about something -- anything -- is just another way for Arpaio to grab the spotlight he craves. It's also another way for him to cry foul about a newspaper that's been critically covering his antics for a decade and a half.