The Feds have come out with a long list of charges against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and by extension the County itself. The allegations are pretty awful. I don’t want to list the examples here as you can read them for yourself. Suffice it to say, Arpaio should go to jail IMHO for a very long time. And the Deputies who perpetrated these crimes should NEVER, EVER work in Law Enforcement again. As a former LEO, I am disgusted and embarrassed that good officers have stood by and said nothing. I’m all for loyalty, but this has all gone too far. This corruption is exactly what I feared would come to light considering how much we already knew about that was already out in public. If wood looks rotten on the outside, you can bet it’s rotten on the inside and it will be far, far worse.
How did it get so bad? Although the county board of supervisors were the most likely group to rein Arpaio in, they were unable to act. And not only were they unable to act as a result of the situation (Arpaio being an elected official), they were also afraid to act because they were being harassed by Arpaio’s Deputies and specious prosecutions by former County Attorney Andrew Thomas (who was just disbarred for this very behavior). Thomas should also be in jail but it may be that the only punishment he ever sees will be disbarment.
Heck, even some of Arpaio’s own party members are glad to see the Federal Government coming out with these charges.
“I’m glad the Department of Justice finally took off the gloves,” former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, a moderate Republican and Vietnam veteran who first clashed with Arpaio when he decided to investigate and prosecute a wrongful death of an inmate in the jail, told The Daily Beast.
Arpaio “would have me followed,” Romley said, and the sheriff’s office filed bar complaints against him, which were subsequently dismissed. Then Arpaio poured “about three quarters of a million dollars” into successfully fighting Romley’s reelection. It’s a common practice, Romley said, for the sheriff to do “anything to intimidate” critics.
Arpaio will leave a very ugly legacy from which it will take many years to recover Let’s look at just one effect of his years in office. I have complained on my blog many, many times about the probable amount of money that is being wasted defending the county against unnecessary law suits, paying out settlements to the families of victims, etc all as a direct result of Arpaio’s horrible management of the MCSO. Now we have an approximate figure. The one article I read said that since he took office in 1993 he’s cost the county $55.8 million in legal fees alone. That doesn’t count settlement pay outs to the families of inmates who died in his poorly managed jails, nor the money for all of the false prosecutions of County Board members, nor the pay outs to his cronies, nor money redirected from the County coffers to his PACS, nor anything the state has done to defend him and/or actions/stances (i.e., SB1070), nor the loss of Federal matching funds due to his behavior, nor the overtime for officers doing Immigration enforcement instead of letting the Feds do it, etc, etc….It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that when we finally dig this bloated tick out of the body politic he will have cost Maricopa County and all of Arizona about a $1 billion. Time to clean house folks before more people die and before the state is bankrupted by this parasite.