Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Arizona Republic published candidate profiles last week for the Democratic candidates for Maricopa County Sheriff, Paul Penzone MCSO sheriff race: Former face of Silent Witness Paul Penzone knows recognition not enough, and John Rowan. MCSO sheriff race: Rowan talks NYPD career, Goodyear firing.
This Thursday, The Arizona Republic endorsed Paul Penzone in its Primary picks:
Democrats need to pick the candidate with the best shot at defeating Joe Arpaio. In this race, that's Paul Penzone, a retired Phoenix police sergeant.
He has a strong record within the Phoenix department. He puts law enforcement first, not public relations. He's raised enough money to be credible.
The other candidate, John Rowan, was fired from his last law-enforcement job and wants the Sheriff's Office to crack down on corruption in municipal police departments. That's no improvement over the incumbent.
Penzone speaks softly but with authority. He says Arpaio's excessive approach to immigration has destroyed relationships in minority communities, which allows crime to take root. Penzone would rather target crime, including serving warrants.
He's the best candidate the Democrats have had in their quest to unseat Arpaio. He deserves their support.
John Rowan apparently decided to go for the Hail Mary pass with a PR stunt that looks like it may blow up in his face. The Arizona Republic reports today, MCSO sheriff hopeful John Rowan bails out inmate:
The tip came in like so many others, with a distraught family member claiming a relative had been beaten by detention officers in Maricopa County's Fourth Avenue Jail.
That information was enough to persuade John Rowan, a Democratic candidate for sheriff, to bail 18-year-old Kolton Brian Clark out of jail last week.
But the Sheriff's Office denies Clark's claim. And video that captures Clark's entire time in custody raises questions about whether the assault took place. A Phoenix police report shows that the injuries Clark attributes to sheriff's detention officers may have been suffered in the fight that landed him in jail.
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Rowan's communications director, Terri Woodmansee, said the decision to bail Clark out of jail was not a political ploy but an act of benevolence. However, Rowan twice related the story in speeches last weekend at a state Democratic Party meeting in Payson.
Somehow Team Rowan was unaware that the MCSO videotapes prisoners and records their telephone conversations:
Audiotapes of Clark's telephone calls out of the jail indicate he and his family were also aware of prior instances of inmate assault and abuse in Maricopa County jails. The Arizona Republic requested audio and video related to the incident last week after a family member contacted the newspaper to disclose what they believed was an assault on Clark inside the jail.
In one audiotape, a woman who identifies herself as Clark's mother tells him of the Rowan campaign's involvement in his case, saying: "They're trying to prove a point. ... You're not the only victim."
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Video from the Sheriff's Office shows Clark initially being put in an isolation cell where a Phoenix police officer directs him to a sink so he can wash his eyes. Clark later refuses contact with medical staff and is placed into one of the sheriff's rubberized safe cells with a blanket.
Clark's conversations from jail would put the detention officers' assault around that time, but jail video shows no officers making contact with Clark. He remains alone in the safe cell from about 1:15 a.m. to about 10:15 a.m., when he is let out of the cell and dresses in the sheriff's standard-issue jail attire.
* * *
But after a woman named Maria visited Clark, the story began to change. The tapes indicate that Maria told Clark's mother that Clark was assaulted by detention officers. Clark's mother then begins instructing him on how to hold his head when he leaves jail to accentuate his injuries.
Clark wonders in the call what Rowan will want in return for securing his release.
"He did all this (expletive) for me?" Clark asks. "He must really want to win against Arpaio then."
The phone calls also indicate that Clark and his mother were anticipating a large payout for the alleged assault.
Clark has yet to file a grievance with the Sheriff's Office or a notice of claim against the county.
Rowan did not respond to requests for comment Friday. I'll bet.
Let's keep in mind the objective here: removing "the most corrupt Sheriff in America," Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio, from office. As Laurie Roberts writes in her column today, Arpaio's own turning against a 'prop' sheriff?:
This week, we learned that we should pay no attention to the man in the apparently empty uniform. It seems America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff doesn't know what the heck he's talking about.
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One of Joe Arpaio's own guys -- a deputy chief, no less -- testified this week that there's a "disconnect" between Arpaio and reality.
"When I say a disconnect, oftentimes he doesn't understand what the rank-and-file deputies are doing out there," Deputy Chief Brian Sands, head of Arpaio's human-smuggling unit, told U.S. District Judge Murray Snow.
Laurie Roberts correctly notes that "The county's legal strategy seems to throw the boss under his own mobile-command station -- the one he uses during his immigra ... er, saturation patrols." However, Deputy Chief Brian Sands testimony is contradicted by his own testimony in an earlier disciplinary hearing, as the Phoenix New Times reports. Deputy Chief Brian Sands' Testimony Today Contradicted by His Statements in 2010; Busting Illegal Aliens was Sometimes the "Goal".
Laurie Roberts also correctly notes that Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio contradicted himself on the witness stand as well. "My co-author wrote [those statements]," Arpaio testified, evidently forgetting his previous pronouncements that he "very carefully" wrote "Joe's Law," "like I was testifying in court." See, Joe Dana Blog - 2008 video contradicts Arpaio testimony:
Now rewind to June of 2008. Arpaio was speaking at a Scottsdale bookstore during the release of “Joe’s Law.” The 30 minute speech can be found on C-Span’s video library. Arpaio urged the audience to buy his book and promised it contained many details about his life, his philosophy and on why “I arrest so many illegals,” as he put it. He also says this: “One thing I don’t do is lie. I was very careful writing this book. I wrote it like I was testifying in court.” (See video excerpt here).
As Laurie Roberts concludes:
Deputies this week took great pains to explain to Snow that Arpaio's actions -- his TV interviews explaining when they can ask about immigration status, the citizen complaints he passes along, even his illegal-immigration "tip line" -- have no real force within the agency he has headed for the past two decades.
Put another way, 80-year-old Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is really more prop than cop, like those blow-up dolls that drivers used to install in their passenger seat so they could sneak into the carpool lane.
A prop, that is, if you really believe that Arpaio's not calling the shots on his signature issue -- if you really buy what they're selling, that deputies aren't influenced by the guy at the top.
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For 20 years, we've been listening to Arpaio talk about himself in the third person. Now, suddenly, we're to believe he's nothing more than an inflatable cop?
If so, then I can already see the slogan for his coming campaign:
There's an old, really old, sheriff in town, and he's full of hot air -- literally.