Sheriff Arpaio held a press conference yesterday to reveal the results of his “cold case posse”. If you don’t know, this posse is formed from senior citizens some of whom are retired law enforcement and some are attorneys.
When Arpaio first talked about forming this committee I was amused because it seemed like another one of his publicity stunts. I wasn’t too worried because this posse of his was only a threat to the early bird specials in Sun City restaurants and certainly not the President. Now that he’s produced some results (he said the birth certificate was fake, of course he did, here’s the video if you care…), I decided to do a review of the events leading up to today’s farce.
Arpaio first announced that he was starting an investigation last Summer (2011) supposedly at the request of 250 local Tea Party members. Although the Feds had been investigating him since 2008 (other sources say 2009) things were going well for Arpaio until the Fall of 2010 when the DOJ filed a law suit against him for his lack of cooperation and delay tactics. Basically they had been waiting for the MCSO to produce records in relation to arrests, bookings, etc for two years and got tired of waiting. As computerized as those records are1 he could have produced them without breaking a sweat….but he didn’t. That, in and of itself, is suspicious.
Then in the spring and summer of 2011 a series of investigative articles, corruption charges, and other alleged misdeeds involving Arpaio began to flood the state’s news. Here’s a brief list of the “revelations”:
1. March 2011 – Arpaio announced he would not release the results of an investigation of a memo detailing corruption and secret recordings of Arpaio’s staff meetings that were released by an MCSO inside source, Deputy Chief Frank Munnell, to the press. The investigation was completed by the recently infamous Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu2, who was paid about $50,000 by the taxpayes to do the investigation. The information in the memo and investigatory report regarding criminal behavior by high ranking deputies involved in fundraising for Arpaio’s re-election and his PAC, and a ton of other misdeeds (not to mention what was in the recordings) were never properly addressed by Arpaio. However, it did open the can of worms that everyone suspected was present all along.
2. April – Two male employees in the MCSO are exposed as having an “inappropriate” relationship3. Their relationship occurred while they allegedly engaged in a criminal conspiracy to raise money for Arpaio’s PAC, SCA, through subterfuge and rerouted that money in violation of election law. One of the men was in Arpaio’s inner circle, a retired MCSO deputy who had been re-hired as a civilian as Director4 with a lot of clout, Larry Black. The other individual was further down the food chain but still an Arpaio loyalist, Captain Joel Fox. Such a loyalist that he was given extreme preference-he was promoted to lead the SWAT team by Black who shifted 140 other officers around in order to make the promotion happen…unheard of in law enforcement. Ultimately Arpaio’s campaign AND his PAC greatly benefitted from their fund raising efforts and Arpaio won his fifth election.
3. April – the pressure on Arpaio mounted due to the info leaked in the previously mentioned memo and recordings so that he ended up firing two of his Chief Deputies named in those revelations, Dave Hendershott and Larry Black, both of whom were in Arpaio’s inner circle. They, IMHO, became his fall guys.
4. May – A named source within the MCSO, Deputy Chief Bill Knight, told investigators and local reporters that Arpaio directly participated in drafting the search warrant served on one of the business partners of one of Arpaio’s political enemies, Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapely5. Not only that, Arpaio tipped off the press before the search warrant could even be executed so that reporters were circling in helicopters over the search location as the officers tried to begin the search. To make matters worse, before the Knight could even return to the office and check in any evidence they had found, Arpaio was having a press conference discussing the search. That search warrant was later found to be improper and therefore illegal but not before Don Stapley’s reputation and peace of mind were destroyed.
5. June – Nine months after the DOJ filed a law suit to force Arpaio finally begins to turn over records for their investigation, Arpaio finally gives them to DOJ investigators.
6. July – Arpaio loses a lawsuit in a case regarding racial profiling and is ordered to pay $200,000 to two Mexican men, Julián and Julio Mora
7. July – Throughout the summer and into late 2011, Arpaio continues sweep to find illegal immigrants.
8. August – DOJ, finally satisfied that Arpaio is cooperating with their investigation, having turned over the requested records, drops their “discovery” lawsuit from 2010.
9. August – Information being exchanged among Tea Party activists asking Arpaio to investigate the President’s birth certificate and Arpaio begins to discuss it publicly by doing speeches around the Southwest.
10. September – Arpaio is now making National news for not only his support of SB1070 but his talk about the President’s birth certificate.
11. September – Maricopa County begins to settle lawsuis against the county for abuses related to his and former County Attorney, Andrew Thomas’, vindictive prosecution of County Supervisors, Judge’s and other county employees.
12. September – The Minuteman PAC sends out a request to supporters to donate money to fund the Sheriff’s “Cold Case Posse” during their investigation into the President’s birth certificate.
13. September – Arpaio announces a new PAC (as opposed to the ones full of corruption he’s run in the past) to help fund candidates for federal office.
Do you see that item there in August 2011 where Arpaio has FINALLY fully complied with the DOJ’s request for documents related to potential Civil Right’s violations? He knows he’s screwed at that point. The DOJ has everything it needs now to build a case against him. That’s when we see Arpaio start talking about the President’s birth certificate. Then we see him raising a lot of money in September. And in December 2011 we see the DOJ release their results into Civil Rights Violations by MCSO and now two months later, Arpaio has his “announcement” about the President’s birth certificate.
The timing of when he decided to do this “investigation” and the timing of the results are no coincidence. Arpaio is, possibly, the most politically astute person I have ever seen. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing.
In his “results” press conference yesterday he said:
I’m not going after Obama……I’m just doing my job.”
Let’s hope the DOJ does their job and get’s rid of his corrupt ass and if that doesn’t work, let’s hope Arizona voters come to their senses, and do THEIR jobs and vote him out of office. How much corruption does it take Arizona? Really, how much before you do YOUR job?
2. Babeu is currently running for the U.S. Congress and on top of the recent allegations of threatening his former illegal immigrant lover with deportation, he is now being accused of having dated a former student when he worked for school in Massachusetts.
3. The homosexual relationship was deduced from emails exchanged between the two mentioning “love”, etc, but it has not been proven. And the homosexuality isn’t the issue. The issues are a) that someone in command promoted someone beneath them in rank while they were involved in a romantic relationship, b) that they hid this relationship while being married men, c) and that they engaged in a criminal conspiracy to raise and misappropriate funds on Arpaio’s behalf.