In my opinion, it would be more accurate to call Joe Arpaio the nation’s most corrupt sheriff.
I’m not saying Joe’s not tough. He’s plenty tough on Latinos, other minorities and anyone who dares to question his actions.
For example, Arpaio has repeatedly conducted “crime” sweeps in Latino neighborhoods, hoping to latch onto an undocumented immigrant. But don’t call this obvious harassment racial profiling. Joe simply won’t stand for that characterization of his law enforcement techniques! According to Joe, there are plenty of Latinos he hasn’t arrested…yet.
But Joe’s toughness extends beyond his surly demeanor and questionable arrests. He’s been particularly tough on the finances of Maricopa County taxpayers. His actions have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in court settlements and legal fees. He has also misspent millions of county funds.
Arpaio even tried to arrest county officials on trumped-up charges when they refused to cooperate with him. I’m not yet certain what those actions are going to cost taxpayers.
Of course, Joe is most famous for Tent City, the prison in the desert with no heating or air conditioning. At this canvas hell hole, inmates are forced to eat the same helping of green baloney meal after meal, day after day. Arpaio is responsible for creating an atmosphere in which prisoners have been neglected, beaten and allowed to die while in custody. But the national media never report those stories. Instead, they play footage of the tough talkin’ sheriff with his infamous posse that includes washed-up action star, Steven Seagal.
Most recently, Arpaio’s department was accused of ignoring hundreds of sex crimes, prompting an internal investigation which eventually supported the allegations. Yet no one was disciplined. And although the investigation was completed in late 2011, the results were not released until 2013.
Why the delay?
Well, Joe was facing re-election in 2012. Even with millions in Tea Party contributions from across the country and his bat-crap crazy supporters, it would have been difficult for Arpaio to beat the truth, the accompanying bad publicity and a highly qualified opponent in a close election.