This is What Happens When You Continually Excuse a Public Official's Lawlessness

Sheriff Joe Arpaio constantly gets a pass for some of the most outrageous hijinx from Phoenix's conservative population that sees him as the last bastion between them and brown-skinned people.  Tell someone he is above the law, and he is going to act above the law

​As Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio crows this morning about how his agency busted a total of six illegal immigrants for using fake IDs so they could work at a Mesa dry cleaner, county budget officials unveiled the results of a six-month investigation into how his office is misspending your money.

If you pay taxes in Maricopa County, it's not pretty.

In total, the county finds that Arpaio and his cronies misspent $99.5 million over the last eight years, the majority of which came from the sheriff's detention fund.

"For eight years, you have been signing paperwork that says your budget is balanced, but it's not," County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox reportedly told sheriff's officials at this morning's meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Budget officers reviewed payroll records for 5,700 sheriff's employee salaries from February 2004 to February 2011 and found that much of what employees were actuallydoing was not what they were getting paid to do.

  • L Nettles

    With that kind of money you could almost buy a Hockey Team

  • marco73

    Or build some more light rail.

  • Bill

    L Nettles, brilliant.

  • Chris

    Or loan it to friends to never be paid back.

  • John Moore

    Do you really believe that conservatives are racist? Do you really believe that objection to uncontrolled immigration is racist?

    Hell, you sound like all those idiots on the left who see racism under their beds!

    Why don't you stop stereotyping conservatives. It's insulting and it makes you seem like an idiot, which many of us know you are not.

  • Dr. T

    The Sheriff's Department has 5,700 employees?!? Most of the people in Maricopa County live in the cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Goodyear, Surprise, Avondale, and El Mirage that have their own police departments. The five Indian reservations are not served by the Sheriff's Department. Looks like someone has been adding far more personnel than needed.

  • Chris

    John Moore,
    Lots of conservatives are. So are lots of liberals. In fact so are lots of libertarians too.

    Warren isn't the guy who made immigration the cornerstone of arpaio's public relations and enforcement. arpaio did.

    And in the meantime felony arrest warrants go unserved. Defendants in court have their client/lawyer privilege violated. Judges are coerced. County property is stolen (computer systems). Inmates are KILLED in the jail downtown. Children are born without proper medical care in jail. All of these events happened which costs residents here money from higher insurance premiums for settlements.

    And then today we find out that arpaio was at the same time committing fraud by paying employees for jobs they were not doing.

    But you're right, let's focus on Warren pointing out the sheriff goes after brown people.

    Where is your outrage directed at arpaio?

  • http://www.leletrade.com/ Designer Wholesale Handbags

    but link-rich comments may get held for human moderation and therefore not appear on the site immediately

  • http://www.aguanomics.com David Zetland

    Holy cow! 5,700 employees? He's got a militia!

  • http://www.aguanomics.com David Zetland

    @John Moore -- conservatives are [more] racist, BY DEFINITION, since they prefer established conventions. New people who are different (color, religion, piercings) by definition, are not established. QED.

  • DrTorch

    Your insinuation that conservatives are racist is unfortunate.

  • Dave Boz

    The focus of this post is Joe Arpaio and the people who elect him. Arpaio is a spectacularly incompetent law enforcement official who somehow has convinced his supporters that (in their own words) he is "the only one who enforces the law." Which law is that, you might ask? Apparently not the one that says the sheriff is responsible for serving felony warrants, or the laws that deal with expenditure of county funds. Arpaio does what he does best: he arrests dishwashers and landscapers and laundry workers, and he promotes himself endlessly as "America's toughest sheriff." Not tough on serious criminals, mind you; Arpaio goes after domestic workers and janitors because he has neither the skills nor the inclination to pursue violent criminals. And this is exactly the kind of lawman the people of Maricopa County have consistently said they want: showy, expensive, and ineffective, but willing to bust undocumented busboys all day long. The voters are getting precisely what they have asked for, and should not be the least bit surprised that Arpaio disdains the finer points of accountability when it comes to spending money in his crony-filled empire.

  • mahtso

    I am curious as to what proof there is that Sheriff’s Office employees were not doing the work that they were getting paid to do.

    The Sheriff’s Office has long acknowledged that there was misspending. This matter is old news and the only new information was the County Board’s determination of the total misspending. (I believe that the two parties dispute (1) the amount at issue and (2) whether the Board failed in its duty to properly audit or the Sheriff’s Office hid the information is disputed.) As I understand it, the issue is that officers were paid with funds that were earmarked for a different purpose. That is, money that was supposed to be used only on jail related activities was used to pay officers who were doing enforcement work, not that the officers did work other than what they were paid to do.

    As to the number of Sheriff’s employees: I don’t know if there are too many, but a couple of quick searches show:

    Maricopa County has a land area of 9,226 square miles, of which 1,441 square miles are incorporated (15.6 percent) and 7,785 square miles are unincorporated (84.4 percent). It is the fifth largest of Arizona's 15 counties, and the 14th largest county in the United States.

    Rhode Island is the smallest state in size in the United States. It covers an area of 1,214 square miles. Connecticut ranks 48th in size among the 50 states; the state's area, 5,018 sq mi.

  • ErisGuy

    "This is What Happens When You Continually Excuse a Public Official’s Lawlessness"

    Yes, it is.

    “the only one who enforces the law.”

    Politicians win elections by assertion. Look at all the lies Obama asserted. It's ubiquitous.

  • DJB

    Yes, xenophobic is a far beter term, it's only brown people that come from other places that they have issue with.

  • skh.pcola

    An examination of Wilcox's bio would be most informative before you uncritically accept anything that issues forth from her gaping lie hole. Your selection bias is, as always with this topic, glaringly obvious.

  • John Moore

    David Zetland:

    @John Moore — conservatives are [more] racist, BY DEFINITION, since they prefer established conventions. New people who are different (color, religion, piercings) by definition, are not established. QED.

    Obviously you know nothing of conservatism, and just looked up the word in a dictionary or something.

  • ruralcounsel

    It is a shame that the public has to rely on the Joe Arpaio's of the world to enforce some laws, at the expense of others. But of course, if our Federal government did their job at securing the border, then the Arpaio's of the world wouldn't have such opportunities. Sometimes the public is better off when the thugs of two gangs are vying for control than if any one gang took over.

    Why is it we can't get everyone to just do their jobs?

    The answer, I think, is that some of these folks just don't want to do the jobs they were elected to do. The President clearly doesn't want to stop illegal immigration - he sees some political advantage in allowing it to run amok. The President and his "Fed gang" would rather fight with Arpaio and the "local gang" than do their jobs. The "local gang" sees a niche market, and fills in. Go figure.

    As for the side issue about whether wanting to enforce duly passed immigration law is a sign of racism or not, I think those that advocate this viewpoint do the rule of law a huge disservice. And probably because those advocates have no other argument, and don't think they can win in any legitimate effort to change those laws. In essence, it is a crass play for power, calling for non-enforcement by trying to shame people, and nothing more. Race card extortion. But hey, if you've run out of substantive arguments, I guess smearing peoples character and motivations is all that you've got left.

  • Allen

    "Why is it we can’t get everyone to just do their jobs?" -ruralcounsel

    I don't know. It'd be nice to see the county focus on doing it's job as a county rather than pouring resources into things not only it shouldn't do, but that it's not good at doing and that in the end don't change the result.