Dennis Wilenchik, the Sgt. Schultz of the PHX legal world?
I know noth-ink, NOTH-INK about zee Lacey-Larkin arrests...
Anybody get a load of the recent statement from toxic-mold specialist and former special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik? They should call the dood Pass-the-Buck Wilin-chuck for the way he's thrown his legal lackeys under the bus, tryin' to dodge all responsibility for the arrests of Lacey and Larkin in the middle of the night last week. It was all a "misunderstanding," he writes in this torturous, long-winded diatribe as published on the East Valley Tribune's Web site, and elsewhere.
"My knowledge and intent was to have them cited," he claims, adding, "The direction from me was apparently misunderstood by the other Special Prosecutors, which resulted in a request that the MCSO deputies arrest, book and cite Messrs. Lacey and Larkin, rather than attempting to just issue them citations."
Wilenchik, who -- incredibly -- still reps the County Attorney's office in some civil litigation despite last week's unprecedented debacle, continues covering his backside and the backsides of those who butter his hot cross buns, stating that, "the County Attorney, Sheriff Arpaio and I had no personal knowledge that Messrs. Lacey and Larkin would be arrested that evening until after they were, nor would they or I have condoned such action in advance..."
Well, that explains it all, doesn't it? Ho-ho, just a little mix up with the hired help. I said cite, not incarcerate, Jeeves, you bloody idiot! Now run get my slippers and pipe, chop-chop.
Is Wilenchik the Sgt. Schultz of the AZ bar? He knows noth-ink, NOTH-INK about what's going on in his own office with highly-paid attorneys under his direction? In my cover story this week, "Who's Sorry Now?" MCSO flack Captain Paul Chagolla points out that,
"On that day, sheriff's detectives worked with assigned prosecutors from the special prosecutor's office, Mr. William French and Mr. Rob Somers. Detectives were contacted by Mr. Somers, and it was he that asked for the arrests to be made."
Mr. French (what is this, Family Affair?) is a former Superior Court judge, and Somers is one of Wilenchik's underlings. Both do work for Wilenchik & Bartness. In fact, you can take a gander at Somers the goat, here. Just click on his name to peep his mug. In future editions of the American Heritage Dictionary, Somers' pic will appear next to the word "patsy."
The rest of the document is so self-serving as to be delusional. In defiance of the facts, the opinions of legal scholars, and the tsunami of public anger directed at his over-broad grand jury subpoena, Wilenchik blithely states that there were "no First Amendment or privacy concerns." See, they just needed all those IP addresses to match up against info they had on these supposed death threats Arpaio's gotten. If the "scope of the subpoenas" was too broad, well, all New Times had to do was inform him. See, because New Times had written some mean articles about ol' Sheriff Joe, Wilenchik wanted to see if he could prove that some threat had come from an IP address that had visited New Times' Web site over the last three years.
That's right, folks. If you'd visited New Times' Web site since '04, they were going to be looking at you for some conspiracy to bump off Joe. Remember, it doesn't take much to get investigated for that. Even the rabidly pro-Joe Minutemen are not immune from the Sheriff's raging paranoia. That's why the MCSO had to look into their suspected collaboration with immigrants-rights activist Elias Bermudez, chase fake assassins at a Tolleson dairy, and interrogate a teen at a girls school in Connecticut. Cost to county taxpayers: $500,000.
Gosh, who knows how much the bill would have finally gotten to, runnin' those hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of IP addresses, all that investigatin' by Joe's Selective Enforcement Unit, and all the legal work by the firm of Wilenchik & Bartness. Yep, they don't call him Wilencheckbook for nothin'.
The most galling part of Wilencheckbook's screed comes at the end, where he takes great umbrage at how the media's treated him in this whole matter:
...those who have recklessly and carelessly attempted to wrongfully tarnish my personal and professional reputation and integrity, and to thereby harm my family, by the outright lies and irresponsible comments made in the media, should further reflect on their own irresponsible motives in doing so.
What about rousting two newspapermen in the middle of the night on misdemeanor charges? Pish-posh, a clerical error, old bean. A mere trifle by comparison to the reputation of a great man like the Right Honorable Lord Wilenchik.
With this latest release, Wilenchik's proved that even though County Attorney Thomas got it, Republicans got it, Dems got it, constitutional mavens got it, former prosecutors got it, the man on the street got it -- Wilenchik, he just don't get it. 'Specially when it comes to his own muck-ups. At least Sgt. Schultz was a heckuva lot more humble about his bumbling.