The Arizona Republic published a lengthy piece on Sunday about MACE, the Maricopa Anti-Corruption Effort, run by Dave Hendershott, Chief Deputy of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
One question we didn't see raised or answered in the piece, though: How does Hendershott's involvement with the SCA scandal affect his role as leader of MACE?
We can't be the only ones who see the irony here, can we? Didn't any other Republic readers cringe when they read the following line in the MACE article:
Hendershott said sometimes investigations can take "months and months and months, especially when you have people that are trying to keep you from getting the facts."
Since we've covered the SCA story so much in the last week and a half, we couldn't help but contrast this statement of Hendershott's with the way he kept his involvement in the SCA a secret for months, when lots of people were trying to get the facts.
Speaking of facts, here's a doozy: The county's alleged chief investigator of corruption of public officials is himself in the middle of a corruption scandal.
Sure, nobody's proved Hendershott has done a thing wrong. Then again, Hendershott hasn't submitted any charges against state Attorney General Terry Goddard, the subject of a controversial MACE investigation.
No, all we have here are suspicions. Maybe Goddard's prosecution of former State Treasurer David Peterson was crooked. Maybe Hendershott's involvement with the SCA is crooked. The difference, of course, is that Goddard is under investigation and Hendershott isn't.
There's a lot of smoke rising from Hendershott's office on this SCA thing, yet somehow we're supposed to believe Hendershott is the best guy to run MACE. And we're not just babbling here: No one denies that Hendershott shopped around the dirt on Arpaio's opponent, Dan Saban, that later showed up in the Republican Party ad. No one denies that Hendershott was among seven deputies who deposited money into the bank account of the SCA, money that was apparently spent on the ad.
Bruce Ash, Republican National Committeeman, is on record as saying the money wouldn't have been donated if the ad wasn't going to run. If he's right about that, Hendershott -- at the least -- is what police would call an "investigative lead" in a case of campaign finance fraud.
Yet, as far as we know, no one is questioning Hendershott about that.
MACE sure as heck won't.