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Avoiding horror of Apocalypse Arpaio will require his Senate foes to play mean

There's a time for heightened discourse and there's a time to eliminate the threat. Arpaio's rivals need to be ready to hit him hard and hit him fast so the worst person in Arizona political history doesn't infect the U.S. Senate.... Read more»

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4 comments on this story

Jan 11, 2018, 3:22 pm
-1 +0

he worst person elected in Arizona political history

Sorry, I stopped reading when I read that. Raul Grijalva is most deserving of that particular distinction…he’s earned it.

Jan 11, 2018, 4:23 pm
-0 +2

What you missed:

I’m willing to wager the bulk of voters think Arpaio is just a hard-line law-and-order publicity hound who got into trouble for being too zealous. They don’t know about the rest of his record, from illegally arresting journalists for reporting on him to squandering $60 to $80 million or more, not to mention actually staging an “assassination attempt” on himself to win an election.

He was the top law enforcement guy in Maricopa County and, according to the Goldwater Institute, the Associated Press and the East Valley Tribune, didn’t see sex crimes as real crimes. He employed a bigger PR staff than he did detectives whose job it was to investigate the sexual assault of little girls, letting hundreds of cases languish without a glance.

That’s not a left-wing smear. That’s from the Goldwater Institute’s Clint Bolick, who now sits on the Arizona Supreme Court and authored a deep dive into Arpaio’s office.

Jan 11, 2018, 4:25 pm
-0 +2

In a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning stories, the East Valley Tribune in 2008 detailed problems with rape and other violent crime cases under Arpaio’s watch. On Sunday, the Associated Press followed with an article detailing sex abuse cases involving young children that Arpaio’s office left incomplete. ...

The sheriff’s office confirms that from 2005 to 2007, its special victims unit failed to investigate 432 alleged sex crimes. Detectives improperly closed more than 200 of those investigations as though they’d been solved. 


Jan 11, 2018, 4:28 pm
-0 +1

Maricopa County taxpayers spent roughly $92 million on court settlements, awards, and legal bills during Arpaio’s 24 years as sheriff, The Arizona Republic calculated. Of that, $28 million was paid for “legal matters listed as civil-rights violations, false arrest, conspiracy and malicious prosecution.” And $30 million was spent on lawsuits stemming from the county’s jails.

New Times has reported scores of stories about egregious abuse and misconduct by sheriff’s employees inside the jails. Among them is a 1997 story about Richard Post, a wheelchair-bound paraplegic, who suffered a broken neck when corrections officers strapped him in a restraint chair for six hours. A decade later, Ambrett Spencer was pregnant with a baby girl while an inmate in Maricopa County jail. Suffering severe pain, Spencer waited four hours for the jail to transfer her to a hospital. Her daughter, Ambria, died of internal bleeding before she was delivered. Pregnant women were in significant peril in Arpaio’s jails. From the New Times: “The water well in the facility where pregnant women are jailed has been infested with mice and mice feces since 2005, Maricopa County Environmental Health Services Records show.”

The sheriff’s office effectively entrapped an inmate in a fake plot to assassinate Arpaio, for which the agency purchased bomb parts, as told in an exhaustive Phoenix Magazine narrative. The inmate was acquitted at trial and later won a million-dollar legal settlement.


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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaking at the Phoenix Convention Center before a speech by then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.


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