Say It Ain't So, Joe

Apparently, while Sheriff Arpaio was busy raiding businesses and zip-tieing everyone with brown skin and distracted by his attempts to arrest judges that handed down unfavorable decisions, there was actual violent crime happening in Maricopa County.  With the Sheriff busy with celebrities raiding homes suspected of cockfighting with tanks, minor stuff like rape got put on the back burner.  The story has just been discovered by the AP but it has been kicking around town for a while:

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office failed to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crime cases, including dozens in El Mirage, over a two-year period because of poor oversight and former Chief Deputy David Hendershott's desire to protect a key investigator from bad publicity, according to documents pertaining to a recent internal investigation released by the Sheriff's Office.

The errors led to interminable delays for victims of serious crimes who waited years for the attackers to be brought to justice, if they were ever caught.

More than 50 El Mirage sex-crime cases, most involving young children reportedly victimized by friends or family, went uninvestigated after police took an initial report. The lack of oversight was so widespread in El Mirage that it affected other cases: roughly 15 death investigations, some of them homicides with workable leads, were never presented to prosecutors, and dozens of robberies and auto-theft cases never led to arrests.

The East Valley Tribune actually had details on this story over three years ago, in a story that won a Pullitzer, but the Sheriff never bothered to do anything until the story hit the AP.

Employees were preparing to close the 99 Cent Discount Store in El Mirage on Aug. 20, 2006, when a teenage girl ran inside.

Agitated and refusing to leave, the 15-year-old girl told the store's manager that two men had just raped her in a ditch outside, a police report says.

Paramedics took the girl to Del E. Webb Hospital in Sun City West, where medical staff found physical evidence of sexual assault, according to deputy chief Bill Knight, head of the sheriff's central investigations, who researched the case.

At midnight, a detective from the MCSO's special victims unit arrived at the hospital to begin an investigation, the report says.

But the investigation never really began.

The MCSO closed the case a month later by designating it "exceptionally cleared," which is supposed to be applied to cases where a suspect is known and there's enough evidence to make an arrest but circumstances prevent an arrest. That designation allows the MCSO to count the case in the same reporting category as investigations that end in arrest.

But in this case, the detectives didn't have a suspect and appear to have done no work on the case.

I would love to see a reincarnation of "the Wire" focused on our Sheriff's department.  All the same corruptions in the show are on display every day here in Arizona.


  1. anoNY:

    " celebrities raiding homes suspected of cockfighting with tanks"

    OH...MY...GOD... If you read that the wrong way it comes out like the chickens are actually using tanks to battle each other. THAT is why I love this blog!

  2. Anonymous Mike:

    I was going to comment on the exact same thing until I saw anoNY beat me to it.

    Might want to clear up that sentence construction a little or issue a clarification because the thought of aggressive fighting chickens driving around in armored fighting vehicles is going to keep me up at night

    I fear the Animal Revolution is here

  3. Evil Red Scandi:

    All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than HOLY CRAP! Chickens in tanks!

    Sorry, great post and all that but it was funny...

  4. Dan from Gilbert:

    As usual, on this blog anyway, Joe is guilty until proven innocent. Love 95% of your postings. But the Joe posts are so over the top personal against Joe that it sullies (for me anyway) your otherwise very clear and cognizant opinions on other matters.

    You're basically reporting allegations and journo pieces as sworn facts. I know, in your mind, Sheriff Joe is evil. But that doesn't necessarily make him guilty of all these accusations. You have to remember that Joe has more enemies than any Sheriff in the world. Do you think there are going to be a barrage of detractors trying to take him down and thinking of any way to do it?

    Anyway, until I see proof of wrongdoing or outright corruption, I'll treat him as innocent.

    And the brown skin comment was basically right out of the liberal's "republicans-are-racists" playbook. Shame on you. If illegal aliens in Arizona were a majority purple, he'd be zip tieing purple people. Why must you infer that he's against people because of their color instead of their status? I have to deal with inane comments like that from lefty blogs I read, I shouldn't have to read it here.

    Other than that... keep up the good work. :-)


  5. Mark:

    Eh, Joe was good in his day. I don't blanketly disparage him like Warren does, but I do think he has let his power go to his head.

    It is OK to be offbeat, and innovative in your enforcement techniques, but when you ignore you basic responsibilities, because you are now more into getting publicity than getting the job done, it is time to go.

    Arizona seems to have a problem with ineffective publicity hound Sheriffs. As we have seen from Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima county.

  6. Smock Puppet, Fantasy TV Viewer:

    >>> I would love to see a reincarnation of “the Wire” focused on our Sheriff’s department.

    It sounds like what's needed is a reincarnation of "The Firing Squad" focused on the Sheriff's department.

    No, not the TV show, silly. The process. :D

  7. Yngvar:

    Look at the bright side, the Sheriff's office did conduct an internal investigation.

  8. Richard A.:

    @Dan from Gilbert

    Joe has not been charged with anything yet, and innoccent until proven guilty is a standard for the courts, not for everyone. People can have whatever opinion they want of him, and as far as I'm concerned he's an abusive statist asshole who himself deserves some of the punishment he dishes out with relish to others. He reminds me of Bernard Kerik, another self proclaimed tough guy who broke like a bitch when he was subject to punishment he handed out to others with abandon.

  9. Jamessir Bensonmum:

    Sheriff Arpaio is a disgrace. He is a publicity hog and an insult to law-abiding Americans everywhere. He's so proud of building a tent city and filling it full of petty criminals and innocent people too poor to make bail. When he leaves law enforcement - which can't be soon enough - he'll end up founding a mind controlling cult. Hope he takes his loony supporters somewhere outside the U.S.