Feds Shut Down Criminal Probe of Sheriff Joe Arpaio
On Friday night, Oct. 31, in another in a chain of Closed Probes, Ann Scheel issued a news release on behalf of US Attorney John Leonardo saying that after an ‘exhaustive’ four-year investigation of Maricopa County, AZ’s “America’s Favorite Sheriff” and cronies, there won’t be any indictments. The release was skimpy on details, but in a letter to County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Scheel mentioned several allegations that had been investigated: civil-rights violations, misuse of public money, and perjury.
She said prosecution had been declined because of a lack of evidence or an insurmountable burden of proof.
You will remember Arpaio as the loathsome individual who kept suspected, sometimes apparent, undocumented immigrants in tent city prisons, fed them the now famous ‘green bologna’ meals, routinely withheld critical medical care of prisoners; paraded male prisoners in public wearing pink underwear; broke up families in his haste to deport thousands without due process; had his picture taken with White Supremacists…and with his political friend Janet Napolitano back in the day when they were useful to each other. Heh.
In point of fact, the FBI’s initial 2008 investigation was broadened to include the ‘abuse of power’ allegations in 2010 at the request of the Maricopa County Supervisors, asking for a parallel state investigation. Fibbies were apparently cross-deputized toward that end.
Given this news release by the OBomba Justice Department was thrown out in the Friday Trash, this was a hard weekend to secure comments on the matter. I finally reached my relatively anonymous contact at The Unknown Bloggers Group; she simply self-designates with the alphanumeric wd666.
As luck would have it (good luck, that is) I reached her in her car, jammin’ lickety-split on the highway on her way to cover the Democratic Convention on Tuesday in Charlotte.
We agreed to meet, as she’s been covering the Arpaio story for years, and she ‘damned straight, had somethin’ to say about it’.
We met six hours ago at the local Laundromat; it was thankfully empty as I’d reckoned it would be. When I arrived, wd666 was seated in aone of a row of grey chairs that were bolted to the floor, one-legged crossed over the other, and wearing the sole piece of her group’s simple uniform: a brown grocery bag with cut-out eye and mouth holes…over her head. I sat two seats down, got out my tape recorder, and urged her to let ‘er rip.
“Have you heard that fat-ass Arpaio honking on about ‘being vindicated’ as he rushed back from Tampa? I’d like to vindicate him…with my Doc Martens or a ball bat (just joshin’ around, ya know).
Oh, yeah, let’s see…another closed investigation; did you read that frickin’ letter Schell wrote to Montgomery? Christ, he uses $84 million earmarked for jails, spent it on “unrelated expenses and salaries”, but they reckon it’s okay cuz no one personally profited from the “misspending”! So the prosecutors couldn’t claim there was criminal intent! Guess those prisoners mightta thought there was ‘criminal intent’ or ‘negligence’, eh?
And good god all-Friday; those MCSO P-credit cards the Supervisors were claiming were ‘misused’ by the department? Ha! No, no…the expenses they racked up were simply ‘not properly documented’! Kinda like MERS robo-signing, ya know; ‘Oops, we failed to document things properly; so sorree…what’s the fine for that, anyway? Hell, these fucks don’t even get fined, fer cryin’ in a barrel!
Shoot, you remember how Arpaio convinced County Attorney Andy Thomas and his other goons to file criminal charges against Judge Donahoe and two County Supervisors, claiming they were hindering an investigation into a ‘conspiracy’ on a court building’s construction? Yeah, well, a judge threw out the cases as bogus, and Thomas was disbarred by an Arizona court ethics panel, but these folks can’t find how anything he did could be construed as intentional harm to Judge Donohoe and the Supervisors? After Thomas and attorney Lisa Aubuchon were convicted of perjury for lying about Donohoe, the Feds reckoned ‘since they hadn’t lied in their papers to the court, they couldn’t charge them with perjury? Arrrggh!
Whaaat? They accidentally lied in court and conspired to ruin their political enemies? Oopsie!”
Clearly overwrought by now, wd666’s paper bag was sucking in and out against her face along with her hyperventilation, and looking a little damp around her mouth hole. I asked her if she needed a minute to calm herself, or if she’d like some water, although soda from the machine near the door was probably all there was to drink, and then…there was the matter of her headwear to consider… She coughed a bit, declined my offer, straightened in her chair, and continued:
“You know what I think? Besides the fact that this DoJ sucks in every way imaginable? I think this particular probe’s end is all wrapped up with Issa’s investigation into Holder and ‘Fast and Furious’. As soon as he testified to Congress the other day, AZ US Attorney Dennis Burke resigned, or more likely was asked to resign, and now it looks like Ann Scheel might be appointed to fill his job. Man, Burke was a rising star, too; that must suck.
Fox News has it that insiders are sayin’ Burke barfed behind the Committee’s closed doors, and AZ Rep. Paul Gosar says this goes all the way to the top, meaning Holder, even though Issa’s saying he doesn’t really think so.
But anyway, US Attorney is a Senate-confirmable job, and they’ll need McCain and Kyl to help get her okayed. Plus, this is a great week for Obama to…you know, make sure swing voters know his DoJ really and sincerely is all about ‘looking forward, not backward’, as he heads to the Convention. Heh, heh.
Piling onto the irony of all this, Miz Scheel reminded us that there are still those DoJ charges pending against Ugly Joe for racial profiling, immigrant sweeps, violating detainees’ civil rights, and more. She says that in civil matters, the burden of proof is far lower! Do ya think they might find some of his shit meets the ‘preponderance of evidence bar’? Sweet Jayzus; some days in Amerika are just too damned strange to believe!”
The Unknown Blogger then threw back her head over the edge of the plastic molded chair…and let loose with a rather demonic, yet somehow pleasant…laugh…that came all the way from her belly and out into the laundromat, brown paper bag a-rustle with portent. Heh heh heh heh…and so forth…
(cross-posted at kgblogz.com)