Letters From the Issue of Thursday, October 25, 2007


Kick Joe, Andy, and Dennis to the curb: After reading the article on the grand jury subpoenas and watching the press conference announcing that the charges against Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were dropped, I felt something must be done — and done now — to stop the continued political advancement that Andrew Thomas is obviously trying to achieve and protect ("Who's Sorry Now?," Stephen Lemons, this issue; also see "Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution," Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, October 18).

Thomas needs to be removed from office, Joe Arpaio needs to be removed as sheriff, and Dennis Wilenchik needs to be disbarred.

Would it be possible for New Times to enlighten its readers on the process for each of the above? And what we can do as residents of Maricopa County to speak our voice in removing all three from working for our county ever again?
Penny Heitzman, Phoenix

Editor’s note: New Times will be publishing future articles regarding Thomas, Arpaio, and Wilenchik on issues related to the Maricopa County government's harassment campaign against this newspaper, its writers, and its readers. Stay tuned.

Even his peers think Joe blows: The actions of Sheriff Arpaio remain unbelievable to most of us in law enforcement, and not just including these recent arrests [of New Times chief executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin].

I am an assistant chief who works directly for Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in Tucson. I cannot believe what has been done to your publishers (and let me assure you that we don't always like what the media say about us, but this is truly outrageous).

On behalf of all sane law enforcement officials, please send our apology and best regards to the two gentlemen involved.
Brad Gagnepain, Bureau Chief, Pima County Sheriff's Department

Goebbels acolytes: Candy Thomas and Nickel Bag Joe are modern-day Nazis. This is exactly how Goebbels got started — demonizing a certain people until the nation bought into it. You know the rest of the story. It is 1933 all over again. Candy Thomas is pouring your Kool-Aid; Nickel Bag is handing you the cup.
Hank Hill, via the Internet

Candid Andy? Hardly: Wow! One thing I don't understand . . . Thomas states there was no likelihood of prosecution. Why were Lacey and Larkin arrested in the first place? Surely, Dennis Wilenchik must have known there was no likelihood of prosecution.

Also, Wilenchik released details about the grand jury subpoena to the Arizona Republic [in an October 21 front-page story]. Why is it that Thomas could not be candid, citing that everything was a grand jury secret, but Wilenchik can give statements to the Republic?

Bottom line: Thomas, Wilenchik, and Arpaio got caught with their pants down. [It's like Thomas was saying], Wilenchik, you're a great buddy, but it's better you than me. Thomas is an attorney and politician; it would be foolish to believe he is a protector of my rights after what his office just did.

Thank you, New Times and the other media outlets for protecting my constitutional right to author a letter like this and not worry that an oppressive government is going to come after me.
John Lewis, via the Internet

Here’s hoping, Mae: New Times, it's time to throw a serious counterpunch! This fiasco on the part of the county attorney and the sheriff needs to be brought to its rightful conclusion: a resignation by the two main clowns.

If they do not resign, then a lawsuit needs to be filed against them. Enough of this gross abuse of authority!
Mae Lazit, via the Internet

Sense of responsibility for justice: I wanted to thank you for your courage in exposing the right-wing extremists who are threatening our individual freedoms. I just saw today's daily paper and it looks like what [Lacey and Larkin] did really paid off. Please know that there are many of us in our community who are behind you and are also working to get rid of Arpaio, Thomas, and other dangerous idiots like them.

My husband and I are very active in grassroots politics. I guess that Catholic sense of responsibility for justice that was instilled in us really did take. Thank you again for taking such a great personal risk on behalf of all of us.
Kathleen Yardley, via the Internet

Black eyes for Joe and Andy: I watched with great pleasure the press conference by County Attorney Andrew Thomas as he announced — looking much like a deer in the headlights — the dismissal of prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik and all charges against New Times.

I cannot express enough my happiness that this case received the immediate national attention it so deserved, to say nothing of the chuckles ensuing after the black eyes were doled out to both Thomas and Sheriff Joke.