Should Sheriff Joe Arpaio Get a Pass When the Indictments Come Down? Hell, No

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If Arpaio is saved, so are the jobs of those identified by Munnell as the white hats, those who've supposedly warned Arpaio of Hendershott's insidiousness. They include such longtime Arpaio hacks as Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre, top flack Lisa Allen, and, naturally, Munnell himself.

Problem is, Munnell and the others in this white-hat faction have been hip-deep in the MCSO landfill for decades. To suggest that they've suddenly been born again is laughable.

As I've explored in a recent blog item ("Arpaio Knows All," September 17), Arpaio's always been the jefe. According to former high-ranking MCSO employees, such as Tom Bearup, Hendershott serves at the pleasure of his master Arpaio. And Arpaio is intimately aware of what's going on in his department and what his chief deputy is up to.

Bearup, who used to be Arpaio's right hand before Hendershott usurped that position, says Arpaio was in on the pink underwear scam, urged him to lie to those investigating Norberg's death, and was the real bully in the office. Hendershott was simply his enforcer.

"Joe knows everything that goes on," Bearup tells me. "Because I've been there. And I know that nothing goes on in that office without [Joe's approval]."

In public statements, Arpaio claims total control over his operation. But when he's under oath, he sloughs off his responsibilities onto Hendershott and others. It's a tactic meant to insulate Arpaio from legal consequences.

However, the MCSO's criminal activity, malfeasance, and corruption have gone all the way to the top for 17 years now. Arpaio must not be spared when indictment time comes around.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons