Longtime Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio talks quite a game as a populist defender of the ordinary citizen. His actual record, however, has been one of grave abuse of power. One of the worst incidents has now come home to roost: The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a $3.75 million settlement over an incident in which Arpaio’s deputies arrested two critical journalists at their homes in the middle of the night. [Phoenix New Times]
Taxpayers of the Arizona county are shelling out millions in settlements to compensate victims of the systematic abuses committed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and D.A. Andrew Thomas. The latest settlement, $1.4 million, was to a developer whose office was ransacked as part of a series of raids conducted against Arpaio’s and Thomas’s political enemies, purportedly in search of evidence of political corruption. “Thomas was disbarred for his actions last year, but Arpaio was re-elected to a sixth term as sheriff in November.” When organized lawyers display higher ethical standards than an electorate, I’m not sure it reflects well on the electorate. [Aaron Kase, Lawyers.com, Phoenix New Times; earlier on Arpaio and on Thomas]
Bad enough when the media caters to this sort of thing, but when government itself does it, you may have crossed into Arpaio territory [Coyote] Related: David Kravets, Wired.
Coyote reports from Maricopa County, Arizona. And speaking of which, the furor over the erratic doings of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his allies keeps getting hotter: Coyote, Greenfield, Bennett, etc.
More on Maricopa-cabana: “New Turmoil in Embattled Ariz. County as Appeals Court Bans Sheriff from Searching Judge’s Computers” [ABA Journal]; “Rule of law erodes further in Maricopa County” [Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute]
New Jersey dental assistant Amber Arpaio found herself an asterisk-to-an-asterisk in the history of political scandals when it was reported that Ashley Dupre used Arpaio’s lost driver’s license to pass for more than 17 when she made a “Girls Gone Wild” video that later became notorious after the exposure of Dupre’s paid liaison with Gov. Eliot Spitzer. So now Arpaio is suing Dupre and Joe Francis, impresario of the “Girls Gone Wild” series. The news coverage of the lawsuit contains no indication that Arpaio suffered any damage to her credit record or other tangible interests from the affair, but she wants upwards of $10 million in cash solace for defamation and invasion of privacy, and, per her attorney, because “when someone searches her name on the Internet, pornographic material comes up.” Much better, when someone searches her name on the Internet, for intimations of litigiousness to come up. (Nancy Dillon, “Duped by Dupre: N.J. woman charges Spitzer call girl with identity theft”, New York Daily News, Jul. 17; AP/Comcast, Jul. 17)(& Prettier Than Napoleon). Plus: complaint at The Smoking Gun (h/t commenter VMS).
More 7/22: Thanks to commenter Eric Turkewitz for pointing out that Dupre had posed as Arpaio in actual news coverage, not just in the signing of film releases and the like, which makes the basis for the suit less unreasonable than I had hastily assumed.