A Federal Grand Jury has been investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio for abuse of power in Maricopa County, Arizona since January 7th, 2010.

The investigation is in regards to Sheriff Joe’s actions against those in Maricopa County that disagree and/or criticize him.

Sheriff Joe and his close friend, the County Attorney General Andrew Thomas have filed criminal charges against two county supervisors; dozens of other county workers are under investigation and the pair have filed a federal racketeering lawsuit accusing the entire county political structure of conspiring against them.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-arpaio9-2010jan09,0,4194465.story?track=rss

Sheriff Joe has also been investigating Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, State Attorney General Terry Goddard, County Manager David Smith, and Presiding Criminal Judge Gary Donahoe, and their staffs.

December 9th, 2009, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Superior Court’s criminal division chief, Judge Gary Donahoe.

County Attorney Andrew Thomas spokesperson, Michael Scerbo stated in a news release that Donahoe is being accused of three felony counts consisting of bribery, obstructing a criminal investigation, and hindering prosecution.

Judge Donahoe was the judge that ordered a sheriff’s deputy to jail for taking a defense attorney’s notes during a hearing and making copies.

Sheriff Joe has a long history of abusing his power, but the Grand Jury investigation is not considering other abuses such as: questionable immigration sweeps, shackling women prisoners while giving birth, terrorizing psychotic inmates, breaking a Hispanic woman’s jaw, and the deaths of at least six people while incarcerated in his jails.

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arpaio/
http://www.hispanictips.com/2010/02/15/judge-finds-grounds-to-sanction-arizona-sheriff-arpaio/

41 million dollars in lawsuits have been paid out so far by the taxpayers of Maricopa County.

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2007-12-20/news/inhumanity-has-a-price
http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/specialReports/view/1166737

February 13th, 2010, a federal judge found grounds for sanctioning the sheriff’s office for its acknowledged destruction of records in a lawsuit that accuses deputies of racially profiling countless Hispanics in immigration patrols.

Sheriff Arpaio has issued thirteen immigration and crime sweeps starting in 2008 and consisting of deputies and posse volunteers that converge on areas – some in Latino areas – to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/13/AR2010021303669.html

District Court Judge G. Murray Snow has ordered sanctions in the big Melendres v. Arpaio racial profiling lawsuit still ongoing in federal court. The sanction addresses in a very measured way the systematic destruction of documents by members of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, even after all documents pertaining to the planning and execution of Sheriff Arpaio’s notorious anti-immigrant sweeps were requested again and again by plaintiffs’ lawyers beginning July 21, 2008.

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2010/02/joe_arpaio_sanctioned_by_judge.php

Sheriff Arpaio’s Chief Deputy David Hendershott was deposed February 18th, 2010 and testified under oath before the grand jury.

Deputy Chief David Hendershott runs the day-to-day operations of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office, and both men blame the agency’s troubles – including a U.S. Department of Justice civil-rights investigation announced last March – on a left-wing conspiracy among the White House, civil-rights organizations, attorneys and Valley media.

“I believe that the Obama administration has a political agenda that involves some form of either amnesty or something that does not comport or is not convenient to the current law,” Hendershott said. “The high-profile nature of the sheriff has become a concern, and therefore we are dealing with this.”

http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/2010/02/21/20100221hendodepo0221-CP.html
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2010/02/joe_arpaios_chief_deputy_david_2.php

Meanwhile, the state’s legislature has been busy working on bills, some of which are an effort to fix the state’s budget crisis.
Here is a sample:

1.) The Arizona Senate voted to make it illegal to sell a weapon at gun shows without verifying that the purchaser is an American citizen.

2.) Saying the minority must be tolerant of the majority; Republicans who control the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to require that a copy of the Ten Commandments be erected in front of the old state Capitol.

3.) Republican Frank Antenori has submitted a bill that would limit the items a person on welfare could buy with their own money. Persons on welfare would not be allowed to buy expensive items like TV’s over $300.00, have cars worth more than $5,000 and can’t buy alcohol and cigarettes. Welfare recipients would be allowed to purchase basic cable, though, and citizens would be needed to monitor people on welfare using food stamps and reporting abuse. Neighbors would be asked to report neighbors on abuse.

4.) State lawmakers are moving to make couples who have decided their marriage isn’t working to wait four months longer to divorce. Those with children would first have to go through education programs telling them about alternatives to divorce and the resources available to improve or strengthen their marriage. Critics fear for women in abusive relationships being forced to remain married to a man that could potentially kill them before a divorce is granted. Also, requiring couples to pay for two counseling classes creates undue financial burdens.

5.) A House panel has voted to allow Arizonans to make their own guns and bullets and offer them for sale without having to comply with federal regulations. Arizona has also passed bills allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons without permits including into restaurants that serve alcohol and bars.

6.) Without debate, the Senate approved a measure that gives police more power to stop and arrest those they believe are in the country illegally. The police and Sheriff Joe’s deputies would have the power to stop anyone without due cause and demand proof of citizenship and if a person fails to comply, they can be arrested. (wonder if a cop might use this against gays or any others they find as undesirable)

7.) The House voted to allow Arizonans the right to buy guns without the government knowing, but only if the weapons are manufactured in the state. Lawmakers gave preliminary approval to legislation that would say that Arizona-made firearms and ammunition are subject only to state laws. HB 2307 would specifically exempt these items from any federal regulation, including registration.

8.) The legislature has approved a measure for a 1-cent increase in sales tax to be sent to the voters in May.

9.) Close down all of the state’s juvenile detention centers and release them back into their communities.

10.) Eliminate KidsCare, which provides health insurance for 47,000 children from families with incomes up to twice the federal poverty level.

11.) Close state funded institutions that house severely mentally handicapped people and sends them back to their communities.

12.) If President Obama runs for re-election he would need to produce proof of both his U.S. birth and citizenship and the secretary of state would need to verify, independently, that the information is accurate to get on the ballot in Arizona under a measure being pushed by a state legislator.

13.) The governor’s budget plan has eliminated funding for training medical students, freezing or reducing rates paid to health providers, and cutting an estimated 310,000 low-income adults from the state’s Medicaid rolls. DHS will provide fewer services to Arizonans with substance abuse problems; reduce funding for Alzheimer’s research and end a lunch program that serves 13,700 seniors.

14.) The governor has signed legislation that cuts taxes on corporations by 28% and eliminates corporate property taxes, which places the burden on Arizona homeowners to make up the 940 million-dollar annual loss in revenue.
http://www.azcentral.com/
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/

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bito
Member

Oh, I do hope this bill passes. I mean, golly-gee, why should the poor fellows have to wait a whole year before they get to make the big bucks? Just doesn’t see fair.

SB 1262: Sen. Jack Harper has sponsored the Retired Lawmaker Relief Act, which repeals the existing restriction that lawmakers wait at least one year before lobbying former colleagues. Harper says the law restricts the “equality and economic liberty” of lawmakers. The bill passed the Senate Committee on Government Institutions on Feb. 4 and is headed for the full Senate.

Don’t you just love the name of the bill?

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Khirad
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bito
Member

Oh, Fitz is gonna get some nasty letters on that one . And he will love it! 😆

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Khirad
Member

He always does! A proud socialist, who puts the ‘red’ in the Daily Star! I love this man. 😆

By the way, I thought the guy who wrote about the 10 Commandments went overboard. Just my opinion.

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Kalima
Admin

Well done javaz, which leads me to the obvious question of how 2 racists lunatics have gained the power to misuse that power to terrorize a whole county, especially since the Sheriff has been told that what he is doing is illegal and he should cease rounding up and incarcerating illegal immigrants. If he has been warned on several occasions then someone who does have the power to make him stop, is not doing their job. If it reaches all the way to the Senate, something stinks to high heaven and needs to be exposed.

I saw this pos on CNN last year arguing with a Hispanic civil rights lawyer, his demeanor towards her accusations was unpleasant to witness and I remember thinking that this arrogant guy needed to be taught a lesson.

I find it hard to believe that this sick bully can’t be removed from his position. This is 2010 after all, the town is not Tombstone and the Sheriff is certainly no Wyatt Earp,

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bito
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let’s see if I can try to explain. Phoenix is the largest city (3.5+ million people.) Tucson, the next largest is less than 1 million. Phoenix and Maricopa County dominate the rest of the state. What they say goes, and they are very conservative. What is good for commerce in Phoenix is good for the rest of the state. (they even change election laws for Tucson (which the Tucson voters have rejected.) They control the purse stings, the legislature, all state-wide offices. Whether it is good or ill for the rest of the state, they do it.

In the south of the state (Tucson), you have many Mexican, (I can go to many stores and hear more Spanish than English). Many Indian Reservations around the state.
If you wold take all the “libruls”, Mexicans and Indian voters together, they still wouldn’t match Phoenix/Maricopa.

That is not a good job of explaining, but I hope that it is a glimpse. Patsy, Khirad and j’avaz amy be able to do a better job and add to this

(hello, Kalima, stay warm, Dear One.)

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Kalima
Admin

Good evening bito and I’m wrapped in my bright red Snuggie with my behind waving to the elements, silly idea. 🙁

If they have that much control, all the more reason to smoke them out and expose them to the rest of the country. I’m sure that most Americans have no idea what is going on and they need to know all of it.

Since when, in this day and age can a State revert to religious “communism” without the rest of the country or the government knowing about and trying to improve the everyday life of the citizens, I don’t get it, they are going backwards.

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boomer1949
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AdLib
Admin

Fantastic article, javaz! Well done!

The mix of corruption and extremist, inhumane legislation is the stuff that is usually the domain of fiction.

How can things have run off the tracks in AZ so horribly and continue to be supported by AZ residents in elections?

You’ve mentioned that population is declining, there is naturally a brain drain as those graduating college want a better life than AZ’s destructive course could provide.

What’s the end game here? AZ becomes a police state with the mentally ill on the streets, thousands of children getting ill and dying from a lack of health care, guns everywhere, minorities harassed…this is the vision for a Republican America?

Alabama 1950?

Hatred, corruption, oppression, violence, loss of rights…all codified by laws and officials?

The Federal government is indeed needed to get involved more in the state’s violation of constitutionality.

Since when can a state circumvent national laws on guns, the 4th Amendment and other basic civil rights?

This is a travesty. Thank you javaz for writing this article, I hope other members will feel as motivated as I am to share this article around and try to get more people enlightened about what’s going on in this state.

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bito
Member

This is only an introduction. Wait for j’avaz to do parts 2-3-4-5….She could have written a book! She has many stories and links , am I right , j’avaz?
Great job, j’avaz.

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Khirad
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Who is behind #12, by the way?

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bito
Member

Besides the Goldwater Institute, there is another RW group involved (who I can’t remember). About 90-95% of all republicans have signed the Nordquist-no-tax-pledge. They would rather the whole state fail than break their pledge and lose their $$ from the RW lobbyists .

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SueInCa
Member

Excellent Javaz, just excellent. Number 2 has the rightwing religious written all over it and number 4 has Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Louisiana written all over it. He proposed the same program in Louisiana. Can’t remember if it has been passed in to law yet. Your candidate for McCain’s seat has past ties with Jack Abramoff. What I cannot figure out is why they are unleashing alledged wrong doers back in to the communities ie, Juvenile Hall unless they are giving vigilantes the open door to hunt these kids down. Your homeless population is going to explode if the mentally challenged are let out on the street, ask any Californian who is not a fan of Ronald Ray-Gun.

All of this is a formula for lawlessness in the streets. People will take it out on the minorities which is exactly what these guys want. Of course they will never look to the very corporations who hire the illegals for less pay than a US citizen will take. Perhaps when their work is done, they are marked and Sheriff Joe goes out on his tours of duty. All in all it is a bleak situation and I am amazed this has not received nationwide coverage, wait, no I am not, our media is owned by the corporations.

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