And he keeps getting re-elected by wide margins. Unbelievable.
In a performance worthy of a Mafia don, Sheriff Joe Arpaio dissembled under oath today in a disciplinary hearing for disgraced former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and Thomas' ex-underlings, former deputy county attorneys Rachel Alexander and Lisa Aubuchon.
During more than two hours of questioning, mostly by counsel for the State Bar of Arizona, Arpaio's favorite response was, "I don't recall," which he repeated numerous times.
He asserted that he had delegated all authority concerning the investigations of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, county judges, and various other county officials to former Chief Deputy David Hendershott, Arpaio's hand-picked fall guy.
For those who don't live here, I can assure you that at the time, Arpaio took personal credit for everything the department did, using his simply astronomical PR budget.
Here, for example, is one of the key cases Arpaio is being asked to discuss. He and former county attorney Andrew Thomas waged a war for years against their bosses, the County Supervisors, who frequently had the temerity to try to circumscribe Thomas's and Arpaio's power. Among other craziness, Thomas, backed by Arpaio, filed a RICO suit against the supervisors. When a Judge hearing the case, Judge Donahoe, issued some unfavorable rulings in that case, Thomas and Arpaio filed a bribery case against Donahoe, their wacky theory being that since the Supervisors had authorized a new County Court building, this was a bribe to Judge Donahoe, whose court would now be in the new building. Arpaio claims he had nothing to do with any of this. Here is his uninvolvement, via the AZ Republic.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas on Wednesday filed criminal charges against Gary Donahoe, presiding criminal judge of Superior Court, accusing him of hindering prosecution, obstructing a criminal investigation and bribery.
The three felony charges relate to Donahoe's handling of criminal investigations into county officials, particularly a controversial court tower under construction in downtown Phoenix.
Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who stood side by side during a news conference Wednesday, have repeatedly questioned the $340 million joint project of the Superior Court and Maricopa County government.
By the way, it is a nice touch, right out of some place like North Korea, for a prosecutor to bring a judge up on charges for "hindering prosecution" merely for issuing a ruling form the bench which wasn't exactly what the prosecutor wanted. Its more scary when you consider just how many judges truly are in the tank for local prosecutors.