Nothing good to say….

Posted: December 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

If it seems that I pick on Sheriff Joe Arpaio a lot, you are correct.  Unfortunately, he has done so many awful, stupid and dangerous things that I and many other bloggers and journalists just can’t stop writing about him.  I would LOVE to have something positive to say about him, but alas I don’t think it’s going to happen because he would have to do his job well, and that’s impossible for a self-involved narcissist.

He’s on my radar again this week because of a scandal regarding hundreds of felony cases that have gone uninvestigated for years.  The city of El Mirage contracted with MCSO to investigate a bunch of felonies that it didn’t have the manpower to do.  The MCSO, run at the time by Chief Deputy Hendershott simply ignored them. So some very serious cases basically were forgotten while the MCSO took the dough.

This incredibly unprofessional and dangerous oversight came to the notice of journalists at about the same time that the city of El Mirage and the victims and their families lost their patience.  Hendershott was fired in April 2011 and has been accused of numerous things such as corruption, inappropriate collection of and use of election funds collected for Arpaio’s last re-election campaign , use of the MCSO as a political weapon against Arpaio’s enemies, failing to investigate hundreds of felonies for the city of El Mirage (there’s probably more but  there’s so many things I am starting to lose track of it all.  Ultimately Hendershott was Arpaio’s attack dog and once he started to be too obvious  and got caught, Arpaio dropped him like a red-hot potato.

The acceptance of money from a municipality for investigating crimes that have sat unlooked-at for years is a very serious professional, ethical and potentially legal abrogation of duty.  It’s a big deal.  Although I would posit all the abuses of power that Arpaio and agents of the MCSO have engaged in were a big deal too but it hasn’t been so bad that the voters have elected someone else and the powers that be in Arpaio’s party, the GOP has done nothing publicly to admonish him.  They have been completely silent on the matter.  If Arpaio had been a member of the Democratic party, he would have been run of town many, many years  ago.

That’s why I was so amused this week to see someone in the GOP finally taking notice of the Arpaio fiasco here in AZ.  Our illustrious and “older than sin” Senators McCain and Kyl contacted Sheriff Arpaio via a letter condemning any failure to investigate serious crimes–not necessarily referring to this issue but any failure by any agency–and they offered the resources of the Justice Department and other local law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation of these cases.  BTW, the Senators  have no power to command the Justice Department, only the President can do that.  However they probably would help because that is something that they would do anyway.  Furthermore, I’m pretty sure that they have no power to over state law enforcement agencies because  they are under the purview of the Governor (who will ask “how high?” when the Senators say jump).  Other agencies, local city and other county agencies are already strapped taking care of their own caseloads and it’s why El Mirage turned to the MCSO in the first place!

So the Senators condemned a failure to investigate but not to harshly and they offered resources.  I would rather, as a citizen of Maricopa County and a former law enforcement officer, have had the Senators ream Arpaio a new asshole but that’s not going to happen.  Members of the GOP stick together through thick and thin–even if justice for murdered or abused children (there were some sexual assaults on children in those cases) is long-delayed, if not completely unattainable after all this time.  Men of character aren’t they?  So bold and brave to slap Arpaio somewhere in the vicinity of his wrist and then offer to help him.

Arpaio, in typical asshole fashion, rejected their offer of help, saying it was too little and too late.  He basically said that agencies all over the state have been understaffed and cases like these have gone uninvestigated since 2007.  He seemed to imply that the fault was somehow the Senators.  While I have no love for Sen. McCain and Kyl, this is not their fault.  If the MSCO was too understaffed to help El Mirage or any other local municipality then the MCSO should have told them no, referring them to other agencies on the state, local or federal level.  Instead they took the money and did nothing.    Furthermore, Arpaio is a very powerful man in GOP politics in the state.  He is in thick as thieves with the Governor, the State Attorney General and the majority of the Republican-led state legislature.  He is part of the power structure that has helped to bankrupt the state by advising others and campaigning on the reduction of taxes and increasing giveaways to corporations.  He has vociferously opposed the Obama Administration and has even wasted taxpayer money to investigate the President’s birth certificate.  He has refused federal aid whenever he could get away with it and quietly accepted it when he couldn’t (he couldn’t allow the public to see a conservative such as himself suckling off the Federal teat even though every law enforcement agency in the U.S. does and would be complete fools not to accept that money).  And finally he has hindered in every way he legally could to cooperate with the Justice Department in investigating wrong doing in his own Department and around the State.

This disgusting man, Sheriff Arpaio, had the nerve to blame the federal government for what are essentially state and local problems of his own making.  This narcissistic bastard had the nerve to promote, encourage and corrupt deputies to do his dirty work for decades and then cut them loose as scapegoats as soon as the Feds found out.   Arpaio also had the nerve to imply that the only reason there was so much of an outcry over these cases was because Democratic party members and minority advocates are mad at him because of his famous immigration sweeps.  Now to add insult to injury, Arpaio has the nerve to not take responsibility for the failure of his agency to investigate those cases of rape, murder, sexual assault against a minor, etc.  The statute of limitation has been running on those cases all this time…the window for obtaining justice for the victims and their families is closing.  But he’s too busy covering his ass politically, as always.

If Arpaio worked in private industry he would have been fired many times over.  As Sheriff he is claiming that he had no idea what his Chief Deputy and other personnel were or were not doing.  That’s funny because every journalist in AZ knew it.  Other local law enforcement agencies knew it and the reputation of the MCSO has been damaged for years within that close knit community.   The Feds knew it because they’ve been here since 2008 trying to gather enough evidence to bring charges against everyone involved, including Arpaio.  And, yes citizens like myself, of no real account, knew it too.

No, a real world manager doesn’t get the luxury of claiming ignorance, because ignorance is no excuse. Either Arpaio knew about the corruption and did nothing or he was EXTREMELY reckless and negligent in the administration of his duties as an elected official and as a professional law enforcement officer.  He’s a disgrace to the badge and I have nothing good to say about him.

Sources:

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/mcso-failure-to-investigate-dozens-of-sex-crimes-means-offenders-still-free,-victims-still-in-danger

http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/WestValleyVoices/150373

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/investigative/hendershott-black-fired-from-mcso-4-22-2011

http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/EJMontini/150390

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