Sheriff's Internal Affairs Commander, Captain Jim "Take These Papers From My Hand" Miller Retires

Miller may have been a fine law officer, but we'll always remember him as the guy who tried to goad us into getting arrested during a little squabble over public records last summer at Phoenix City Hall.

After being told by sheriff's officials we could not touch papers in a box of public records that did not belong to the Sheriff's Office, Miller decided to test us, waving some documents at us and sneering, "Take these papers from my hand!" Sometimes we wonder what would have happened had we done just that, but only Miller knows for sure.

Miller then made our year with an amusing memo he later typed up for his superiors that backed up our story -- though from his own, pompous point of view:

I then took a document and held it in front of him and said "Take it." I hoped that he would then understand that it would be inappropriate to simply grab something out of an individual's hand, even if the item was a public document. When he didn't take the document I felt that I had attained at least a stale mate with him.

Miller's report goes on to say,

My staff and I were humiliated and subjected to unnecessary badgering from New Times reporter Stern for simply doing our job.

What were we "badgering" them about again? Our right to look at public records that didn't belong to them. Oh, yeah, and also the hypocritical fact that they were digitally scanning in the Phoenix documents depite their own agency's anti-scanning policy for public records.

As mentioned, Miller might have had a great career. But for us, first impressions of Miller are the lasting ones.

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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.