Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Joe Arpaio is Evil

Self-styled (because you know a moniker means something when you have to come up with it yourself,) "America's Toughest Sheriff" Joe Arpaio is a thorn in my side, and he isn't even my sheriff.  Arpaio is, for the uninitiated, the Sheriff of Maricopa County, which essentially means the sheriff of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.  He's also under investigation by the Department of Justice and by a grand jury.

The DoJ is investigating several allegations against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office including racial profiling and unsatisfactory prison conditions (not tent city, in case you're wondering.)  MSCO maintains it does not need to cooperate with the investigation, and called on the Office of Professional Responsibility (the DoJ's internal affairs, in essence,) to prosecute the individuals involved in the MCSO investigation for attorney misconduct.  (Fun fact - MCSO has till today to cooperate or face federal lawsuit.  My wife sarcastically texts me "I wonder what the man who thinks 'I am the law!' will do?")

The County Board of Supervisors has demanded Arapio make an accounting of his office's budget to them, since, you know, it's their job and stuff.  Arpaio filed charges against the board members, ranging from spurious individual finance improprieties to a freaking RICO case against the board, the Superior Court judges who threw out the spurious charges, and the lawyers hired by the board to defend themselves from the assault!

The alternative newspaper Phoenix New Times published Arpaio's home address (admittedly, probably illegally.)  Response?  Subpoena PNT to provide every document pertaining to every unflattering article they've ever published about Arapio, and a list of everyone who has read any of those articles online, by IP. I'm excited to hear how that is in any way even remotely legal.

The list really does go on and on.  So for dessert, I offer: Joe Arpaio is using his campaign funds to run ads in a year he's not up for election, against candidates who aren't running for his office. It's all good though, because really, who's going to arrest him?  The sheriff?  Oh, wait...

Arpaio thinks, Judge Dredd-style, he is the law.  And that's a real problem.  He doesn't serve Maricopa County, Maricopa serves him.  He's dangerous, and I am inclined to believe this election year marks the beginning of a campaign to install his cronies in state office to insulate his fiefdom from scrutiny.

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