Sheriff Joe and Andrew Thomas

The absolute dysfunctionality of our county government here in Phoenix is just beyond belief.   While not really breaking any new ground, this article in the ABA journal has a pretty good history of Arpaio and Thomas hyjinx.


  1. Art:

    The article makes no mention of the millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on politically motivated investigations of Arpaio without result. Or, his overwhelming popularity with voters. I guess it's not harassment or a miscarriage of justice when his critics use the power of the state to launch attacks on him.

  2. ADiff:

    If not for the really Machiavellian skulduggery that Arpaio's been involved in with Thomas, there'd have been no need and no grounds for any such investigations. They weren't launched prima facie just because some folks differed with their politics, but as a response to Thomas and Arpaio attempting to wield their law enforcement authority as a political and administrative tool. And it should be noted that all this is in addition to the millions Arpaio alone has cost Maricopa county by his too lax supervision of implementation of 'get tough' policies in detention. One can sympathize with, and even support, such policies while still deprecating the amateurish and reckless manner of the application of such by Arpaio. Aware of the many flaws inherent in Maricopa County government and administration, I think one has to conclude that the problem here really is a sheriff who's consistently failed to manage his organization, whether due to inattention, carelessness or intent, and a County Attorney who sees no ethical problem using prosecutorial authority to further his political ambitions.

    Whatever one may like about Arpaio, he has become a costly indulgence one must question whether we can continue to afford. And even agreement with some of the intentions of Thomas cannot justify his judgments regarding the means justified by those ends.

    While the pair clearly represent portions of the political will of community that cannot justify their using the law as a political tool. However much sympathetic with their views, the public should understand they've become economic and political liabilities, not just to their ideology, but to the County as a whole.