Sheriff Joe and the Dueling Audits


“…The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will have to use the general fund to repay as much as $64 million that county officials said Wednesday the Sheriff’s Office misused from a fund for jail operations…”

What if Sheriff Joe were “cooking” the books and had two different sets of books?  There are allegations that this is indeed occurring.

One of the serious credibility problems the far right has is the fact that there are certain times when a blind eye is turned when something is amiss.  It is becoming a common practice for certain individuals, from the RNC paying SP’s Trooper-Gate legal bills, to the love fest with Sheriff Joe.

This is about corruption – absolute corruption – and the conservative anti-immigration elite who demand a blind eye be turned to the fact that Joe Arpaio is dirty.  He is a dirty, corrupt cop.  And – because he is worshiped at FOX, the far right ignores his corrupt behavior.

“...Burke would be ill-advised to imitate the past performance of his mentor and former employer, ex-Governor Janet Napolitano, now Homeland Security czar.

As Village Voice Executive Editor Michael Lacey revealed in a cover story two years ago (“Janet Napolitano’s Sorry Service,” November 27, 2008), Napolitano ignored evidence of a cover-up and destruction of evidence by Arpaio and his minions in the 1996 jailhouse killing of Scott Norberg.

Mike Manning, the attorney who scored an $8.25 million settlement for the Norberg family, turned over files suggesting Arpaio’s criminal misconduct to the FBI, and submitted to interviews by assistant U.S. Attorneys who then took the evidence to Napolitano.

Napolitano, a Democrat, square-filed the case, as Arpaio would prove to be a valuable political ally for her. In 2002, Arpaio, a Republican, even crossed party lines to defend Napolitano’s run for governor….”

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors adopted this resolution on the 22nd.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

“…The Marshals Service conducted routine inspections of jail facilities operated by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in September 2009 and again recently. Those inspections, separate from the Justice civil-rights probe, were done as part of agreements under which the Maricopa sheriff houses some of the Marshals Service’s federal prisoners.

Mr. Arpaio’s department polices much of the suburban region outside of Phoenix.

In the inspections, the Marshals Service gave Mr. Arpaio’s facility “compliant” grades, the highest mark, in all major categories, according to the September 2009 inspection reports. In another series of inspections this month, the Maricopa County jails received the same grades, Marshals Service spokesman Thomas Henman said…”

If you read the conservative love fest, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is perfect. He passed a US Marshal Audit for his jails (you gotta be kidding on that one).  Then there is the accusation that he is nothing but a headline-seeking figure-head.

“…The Maricopa County Office of Management and Budget unveiled the first evidence of misuse of public funds by Arpaio’s office to the county Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, which the Arizona Republic reported were the result of hundreds of hours of staff research.

In a press release, officials said that Arpaio’s office was evasive and that he has chosen to fight efforts at transparency in his use of public money. But, based on the limited amount of data provided by the sheriff’s office, Maricopa County officials said the office had misspent money since at least March by using jail funds on non-jail related operations.

Jail operations are funded by an exclusive tax levy — passed in a voter referendum in 1998 — and are supposed to be distinct from the sheriff’s office’s funds. County officials charge that Arpaio’s office allegedly used the jail operations funds for sheriff’s office expenses — such as salaries for deputies who worked on public-corruption investigations into county supervisors and judges.

A further review found that misspending dated back to at least 2006 at a rate of $16 million per year and that retroactively, Apraio’s office may have misspent up to $80 million.

County officials additionally allege that the sheriff’s office deliberately misused procurement codes and made capital purchases during spending freezes; used outside bank accounts; had problems handling inmate cash; demonstrated extradition travel irregularities; improperly used county credit cards; and spent public funds unusually.

A PowerPoint presentation issued yesterday also quoted Arpaio’s letter of support in favor of the 1998 jail tax that he’s now accused of misusing revenues from. “I pledge to you that the new jail will be the most efficient, cost-effective use of the sales tax revenue of any major jail built in the United States,” he wrote.

General funds from the county may have to be used to pay as much as $64 million back to the jail operations budget….”

This is dedicated to Sheriff Joe.  Please play it while you read this post.

You would not know it by the sampling of conservative sites on Thursday, but Sheriff Joe is in deep trouble.  Naturally nothing will be done and he will continue to get away with murder.

Google Screen Shot
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

From The Pink Flamingo’s favorite liberal blog, The Feathered Bastard.

The Feathered Bastard