Sheriff Joe "Most Spend-Thrifty Sheriff in America" Arpaio is about $1.3 million dollars over-budget for officer over time for the year - just 4 months into the fiscal year! He's on track to be more than $6.8 million dollars over-budget just for over time at the current pace.
"Three areas made up the bulk of the overspending. Officials planned on paying about $102,400 for investigations; about $548,700 was spent. About $148,300 was budgeted for patrol; about $959,800 was spent. And about $131,500 was budgeted for enforcement support and specialized response activities; about $713,300 has been spent."
I wonder how much of that additional $446K on over time investigators was spent trying to track down Mexican drug lords conspiring with Minuteman vigilantes to off ol' Joe "Help, Help! Peoples Is Tryin' to Kill Me!" Arpaio?
We know he spent over $500K investigating his paranoiac persecution fantasies. And who knows how much he and Andrew Thomas' attempt to intimidate and harass the New Times will ultimately cost tax-payers when the dust settles?
Sheriff Joe "Don't You Debate Me About the Law, Boy!" Arpaio is abandoning his legally-mandated duties to secure and protect Maricopa County's courts in an effort to economize.
"The court has a constitutional duty to protect the public and to deliver justice to victims, families, children and those accused of committing a crime," presiding Judge Barbara Rodriguez Mundell said in a prepared statement.
"The failure to transport inmates to courtrooms affects the timely resolution of criminal cases and deprives victims of their rights. It also causes significant delays to jurors who are waiting to serve on criminal trials. It impacts the rights of families to have their custody and child-support issues resolved.
Her statement continued, "Suspending inmate transportation services to the courts is a misguided policy that directly impedes the courts' ability to provide timely, fair and impartial justice to the community."
As a result of the Sherrif's new staffing policy 46 defendants involved in 61 cases did not arrive in court. Eleven judicial officers were affected by the policy, which had a ripple effect throughout the court. In some courtrooms, juries waited up to an hour before they could start trial.
Sheriff Joe "Defendants? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Defendants!" Arpaio seems set on a collision course with Maricopa's judges, much like his protegé Andrew "You Can't Handle My Cases" Thomas. I'm betting on the judges.
Already, Sheriff Joe "I Didn't Really Mean What I Just Said" Arpaio is sent out his posse to run up the surrender flag when Maricopa's judges didn't roll over and play dead when he shut down their courtrooms.
"Friday's memo to Superior Court Administrator Marcus Reinkensmeyer stated strongly that the Sheriff's Office would no longer serve Justice of the Peace Courts, would not transport defendants to non-criminal courts, and would take defendants to immigration status hearings only if they had been arrested by deputies in the first place.
State laws require county sheriffs to transport prisoners and to provide security wherever judges determine there is a risk of danger.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio deferred comment to Sheriff's Office Chief Loretta Barkell. Barkell wrote Friday's memo, which she said was a "miscommunication." What appeared to be unilateral decisions of things the office would no longer do, she said, were merely suggestions that were implemented by mistake."
In other words, Sheriff Joe "Tuck My Tail and Run" Arpaio surrendered at the first sign of resistance. Some tough guy.
The profligacy, waste and abuse by Arpaio and Thomas are but a microcosm of the profligacy, waste and abuse the Republican Party engages in everywhere they are entrusted with public money. We are sitting in a smoking crater of debt gifted to us by just a few short years of Republicans in charge of the executive and legislative branches of our federal government. It will be years, if not decades, of hard work and sacrifice to dig the public fisc out from under the GOP's wreckage.
Arpaio's wanton spending and abuse of his office is yet another reminder of why you can't spell 'profligate' without the GOP.