Tied to the Whipping Post

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Andrew Thomas, Arizona Politics, AZ Assholes, Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Former Maricopa County Chief Deputy, David Hendershott, probably has The Allman Brothers song running permanently in the back of his mind since he got fired by Sheriff Arpaio.  Back in 2009 Sheriff Arpaio said there was NOTHING that would make him ever get rid of Hendershott who had been his top “go to guy” since 1992*.   A strange thing happened on the way to the Forum, however.  In April 2011 an internal investigation uncovered quite a long list of “no-nos” that Hendershott engaged in and ostensibly on behalf of Arpaio.

That was when Arpaio dumped Hendershott like he was a flaming turd left on his doorstep from a 3am “ding dong ditch”.  Since that time Arpaio has been cutting off and denying all ties to Hendershott.    The latest attempt occurred yesterday during the state bar association’s ethics hearing of former County Attorney, Andrew Thomas.  The Sheriff testified that he didn’t order the arrest of the County Supervisor Don Stapely and in fact, he said he didn’t even review the evidence against Stapely.  That testimony was followed by quite a few “I don’t recalls”.

This latest salvo against former Chief Deputy Hendershott isn’t actually all that surprising.  No one would expect Arpaio to actually take responsibility for, well, anything that happened during his tenure as sheriff or have any real loyalty.  If he did, that would mean he’s an honorable man and we all know the quality of his character.

Just for fun, let’s look at the list of all the accusations against Hendershott being made:

  • Engaging in improper influence peddling (public comments to effect the judge assigned to the Stapely case to which Hendershott was assigned by Thomas and supervised by Arpaio)
  • Sending improper requests for court staff emails in an unofficial investigation (again the Stapely and Wilcox cases, ditto assignment and supervision)
  • Making requests to destroy evidence against him to cover up campaign crimes (for Arpaio election campaign)
  • Making requests for false documentation regarding his personal credit to benefit himself
  • Running a secret slush fund called the SCA to launder money (for Arpaio’s election campaign)
  • Trading favors with wealthy donor to SCA (for Arpaio’s election campaign)
  • Stealing County funds through SCA, which was created and run for Arpaio’s election campaign
  • Retiring and collecting an annual pension while being re-hired full time as Chief Deputy earning a total of $178,000 per year
  • Criminal investigations of a long list of political enemies within the county power structure and of private citizens as directed by Arpaio and Thomas
  • Falsely arresting the heads of a local investigative newspaper
  • Failure to properly investigate and protect the public on an estimated 400 felony cases in the El Mirage, AZ area (cases include murder, rape, sex crimes against children, etc)

Reading through the many news articles and reports coming out regarding recent state and federal investigations I have a few questions.  How could Arpaio NOT have known what Hendershott was doing?  Doesn’t a good manager take responsibility for his number one Deputy?  Heck, don’t they take responsibility for whatever happens during his watch?  Arpaio sure loves to lay scandals and problems at the feet of President Obama and any Democrat when things happen on their watch. Evidently he doesn’t think that the rule applies to him.

Why would Arpaio give up his authority by not supervising them closely PARTICULARLY in light of the politically sensitive nature of the Stapely and Wilcox investigations?   While it is common for the AG to assign Deputies to investigations, it is NOT common for a Sheriff to simply let the Deputies do as they please.  Even if Arpaio claims to have trusted former AG Thomas to monitor what Deputies were doing in those “special” investigations, shouldn’t Arpaio be held responsible for reneging on his managerial responsibility?

If this were NOT in Arizona and was NOT in county government, Arpaio and all his lackeys would have been fired and blackballed from working in the field again.  But since we ARE in AZ and this IS Maricopa County, I very much doubt that anyone but Hendershott and other lackeys** will end up tied to the whipping post. This is the kind of situation that Federal oversight of local misconduct was made for so let’s hope that the Feds come the rescue in the end.


*Hendershott started working for MCSO in 1978 but came to Arpaio’s attention in 1992 after the election

**Like Deputy Chief Larry Black, Captain Joel Fox, Sgt. Kim Seagraves, etc, etc, etc










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