Joe Arpaio's Bag of Dirty Tricks: The Robert Wetherell Affidavit

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Arpaio: Always on the hunt for "dime droppers"

Want more proof that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a cross between Tricky Dick Nixon and Vincent "the Chin" Gigante? Take a gander at the Bobby Wetherell affidavit.

Much of the local media continues, bass-like, to be impaled on the hook of Deputy Chief Frank Munnell's loving memo to Sheriff Joe, informing him of all the dastardly stuff going on in his office, as if it's all news to the jefe.

This would assume, of course, that Arpaio had never read a paper in 17 years, like, you know, New Times, maybe.

But, oh, he does read his negative press. And he reads closely.

His office has retaliated against those it suspects of gabbing to reporters. Arpaio himself has long been obsessed with rooting out "dime-droppers" in his ranks and making their lives miserable.

Ironically, Munnell himself could be considered one of those "dime-droppers." I have an inkling that he is the one that leaked his memo. And to tell you the truth, it wouldn't surprise me if Arpaio gave him the dime.

As I suggest in my recent Bird column, Munnell's memo is a little too convenient for Arpaio. Back in the Watergate days, Nixon advisor John Ehrlichman would have called it a "limited hangout." Read the column for an explication.

The Wetherell affidavit, linked to above, makes it quite clear that Arpaio has run his office like Joe McCarthy on overdrive.

Back in 1996, Lieutenant Wetherell was tapped by then MCSO Director Hendershott to investigate Sergeant Mark Battilana, who was suspected by Hendershott and Arpaio of being a source for a New Times story by Tony Ortega. (A suspicion New Times never confirmed or denied.)

Read Ortega's story "Insider Account," for background on the affidavit.

Basically, Wetherell accuses Hendershott of a number of familiar transgressions: offering up rewards for the testimony he wanted from potential witnesses, altering statements from witnesses, threatening witnesses, spying on witnesses, retaliating against witnesses, and making misleading statements under oath, among other illegal activities.

The end result was that Battilana was fired because of the trumped up inquiry. Wetherell later resigned and spilled his guts in an affidavit on Battilana's behalf.

There's some juicy stuff in this document, like Hendershott meeting with Wetherell in the parking lot of a Circle K, mafia-style, door-to-door, without either man exiting their respective vehicles. This, according to Wetherell, so Hendershott and Wetherell would not be seen together.

Also, Hendershott, Wetherell, Arpaio's chief flack Lisa Allen, Tom Bearup (still with the MCSO as Arpaio's right-hand man at the time), and Arpaio himself supposedly met at an old, rented-out house to discuss how they could retaliate against those who were not cooperating with the vendetta against Battilana.

"Director Hendershott told me that I was to be at the meeting because they needed to know which individuals were not cooperating in giving damaging information against Mark Battilana," Weatherell wrote, "and who the dime droppers were so they know who to transfer. Sheriff Arpaio stated that we must put the dime droppers where they could not do any damage."

So Arpaio was in on it, according to Wetherell. (In Ortega's story, Bearup tells Ortega that he distinctly remembers the meeting.) Additionally, Wetherell had this to say about Arpaio's involvement:

"Also, on or about May or June 1996, Sheriff Arpaio told me that he wanted  the Internal Affairs investigation of Mark Battilana to get as many dime droppers as possible. Sheriff Arpaio referred to the Internal Affairs Department as the `Internal security.'"

This mirrors what Tom Bearup and others have had to say about Arpaio's direction of his office. Arpaio was and still is in control of the MCSO, no matter how the media attempts to portray him as an echo of an Alzheimer's-incipient, post-Iran Contra Ronald Reagan. 

In fact, Arpaio's obsession with Bearup, who left the MCSO in 1997, is evident in Wetherell's affidavit, as in this passage:

"I was present at several meetings with Sheriff Arpaio, Dave Hendershott and attorney Ronald Lebowitz in which the topic of Tom Bearup's testimony at the appeal hearing of Mark Battilana was discussed. Although the appeal hearing involved the termination of Mark Battilana, Sheriff Arpaio and Director Hendershott wanted damaging information about Tom Bearup to come out at the hearing so that this information could be used against Tom Bearup if Tom Bearup ran against Sheriff Arpaio for Sheriff."

According to Wetherell, Hendershott and Arpaio rushed to get a transcript of Bearup's testimony after he'd given it so that they could pore over it together.

And Wetherell informed Ortega, now the editor of the The Village Voice, how "Arpaio and Hendershott made daily calls to me about what they wanted done."

Arpaio and Hendershott. Hendershott and Arpaio. Joined at the hip in iniquity, like the Sith.

In the affidavit, Hendershott makes it plain to Wetherell that he's doing his dirty deeds on the sheriff's behalf. 

"The dime droppers are going to learn that if you fuck with the Sheriff, you die," Hendershott says at one point in the document.

Wetherell recalled Hendershott saying, "We have to protect the Sheriff from dime droppers," and, "We will make an example of Mark Battilana so that these fucking dime droppers will keep their fucking mouths shut."

Interestingly, Wetherell told Ortega at the time that Hendershott began to target the lieutenant after he began to raise questions about the pink underwear money. 

One of those to whom Weatherell says he forwarded the info was none other Lisa Allen, portrayed as a white hat in the Munnell memo for supposedly warning Arpaio about Hendershott's misdeeds.

And people wonder why I'm skeptical of the Munnell memo.


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14 comments
TheEndIsNear
TheEndIsNear

Munnell has been part of the corrupt, self-serving, insider club for many years.........that's how he got to where he is today. His memo to Arpaio is a transparent attempt to cover his ass, prop us his buddy Sheridan, and protect Arpaio. All of the "Chiefs", "Super Chiefs", PIO staff and other upper echelon have turned a blind eye/ear to the mismanagement of the MCSO for decades, while ignoring the due process of scores of harassed and terminated employees. Units such as the Special Enforcement Squad, MACE, and the like have been used to "investigate" and attack anyone perceived as a disloyal enemy of the regime. It will take an army of experienced, impartial investigators to unravel all of the crimes.........including a team of forensic financial experts and computer crime sleuths. The feds better act fast........as I'm sure the shredders on the 19th floor are working on high speed as we speak. The removal of Hendershott, Black, and Fox are just the tip of the iceberg..........and the remainder of the command staff know it. I'd bet they are getting their own "black books" of incriminating notes ready to point fingers at one another in an attempt to save themselves from the sinking ship and inevitible indictments. They lost the respect of the current (and past) rank and file long ago......in addition to turning the MCSO into a laughing stock amongst the rest of Arizona law enforcement agencies. All in order to bestow lofty titles upon themselves and to enrich themselves at the expense of the true professionals that still suffer at the MCSO. The beginning of the end is finally here..........thank God.

KingCast
KingCast

Let's take another look at Arpaio's buddy Kelly Ayotte, it is so crucial because as we all know, NH and Mass run the country.

It seems that Kelly has flip-flopped in order to get up with Arpaio:

http://kellyayottesenate.blogs...

Excerpt:As I noted in this post, Conservative political writer Debbie Schlussel warned 2 years ago "Don't vote for Kelly Ayotte."

"Ayotte also instructed New Hampshire police chiefs not to use the trespassing laws to take undocumented workers off the street. Remember Ayotte’s wimpishness in any of her future runs for office.

Ayotte is now presenting herself as a conservative and tea party style candidate. That’s baloney. She’s a career politician who did the wrong things while in office. Don’t give her a chance to repeat those wrong things in the U.S. Senate."

But like the paid GOP toady she is, she flip-flopped and now basically supports similar activities and a reign of terror imposed by Arpaio, who has paid $40,000 to American Citizen Nick Babcock for four (4) wrongful arrests occasioned because he works for Arpaio opponent Dan Saban, also suspiciously arrested on a prior election eve. Given Ayotte's history with me as NAACP Legal Chair (she and her buddy, fired Jaffrey Police Chief Martin Dunn lost trying to jail me for writing a Civil Rights Demand Letter), Kelly Ayotte probably supports these unlawful arrests as well, anything to get in office and abuse power.

Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza
Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza

A Class East Associate from Waterbury, Connecticut sent an E-mail. He subscribes to our "link service," which gives him a worldwide selection of online media outlets. Very low monthly price and a big seller for us. He wrote,

"Hey, I like your link service to The Phoenix New Times, so I can see Sheriff Joe Arpaio all the time.I know that Lemmons guy has a hard-on for Sheriff Joe, but we always liked Joe here because he enforces the immigration laws while these softie Connecticut pussies don't do diddly poop to enforce.

I really hope old Joe didn't resort to corrupt Mafia stuff, but you can't blame him really, considering how the U.S. DOJ was making false charges against him all the time. Maybe old Joe finally went off the deep end. I mean ----he's like 80 years old now.

I see that guy Tommy C...and my buddies in the Stoller and Cocozza families say he's pretty cool, an ex FBI agent or something. I wanted to catch him in here. How you doing Tommy C - good seeing you in here."

Tommy Collins is getting fairly popular now - he's now known on the East Coast also, thanks to the Equity link service (no, we don't sell sausages either!) mentioned above.

HMG with TIF on the blog, online and on time.

Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza
Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza

Some Class East Associates actually remember "The Chin" and were laughing hysterically when Mr. Lemons referenced the psycho that makes Italians look bad. A Secaucus, New Jersey Associate phoned, then wrote by email, "Im gettin kind of a kick outta this Bird guy from Phoenix.......thanks for sending me links to his articles....he's pretty funny, and seems to know the real losers in the old school Mafia that we've destroyed here in the East. Gigante really wasnt as sick as he tried to appear, but the scumbag made hard-workin' Italian family guys like me look bad........ And did ya hear about the punk John Gotti Junior? Hes sellin his life story now for movie rights......... The asshole must be so broke he has to sell himself like a cheap whore.The Guardian Angel guy Curtis Sliwa wouldn't back down from "Pussy Lips" Gotti and Gotti ain't never gonna do shit to Curtis." Frankly, we think this NJ Associate who sent the post above makes Italians look bad! HMG with TIF on the blog, online and on time. Some Class East Associates actually remember "The Chin" and were laughing hysterically when Mr. Lemons referenced the psycho that makes Italians look bad. A Secaucus, New Jersey Associate phoned, then wrote by email, "Im gettin kind of a kick outta this Bird guy from Phoenix.......thanks for sending me links to his articles....he's pretty funny, and seems to know the real losers in the old school Mafia that we've destroyed here in the East. Gigante really wasnt as sick as he tried to appear, but the scumbag made hard-workin' Italian family guys like me look bad........ And did ya hear about the punk John Gotti Junior? Hes sellin his life story now for movie rights......... The asshole must be so broke he has to sell himself like a cheap whore.The Guardian Angel guy Curtis Sliwa wouldn't back down from "Pussy Lips" Gotti and Gotti ain't never gonna do shit to Curtis." Frankly, we think this NJ Associate who sent the post above makes Italians look bad! HMG with TIF on the blog, online and on time.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

"The dime droppers are going to learn that if you fuck with the Sheriff, you die,"

Sounds like mafioso rhetoric to me.

Professional officers don't have the need to threaten one another like this.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Mr. Lemons wrote:

"Ironically, Munnell himself could be considered one of those "dime-droppers." I have an inkling that he is the one that leaked his memo. And to tell you the truth, it wouldn't surprise me if Arpaio gave him the dime.

"As I suggest in my recent Bird column, Munnell's memo is a little too convenient for Arpaio. Back in the Watergate days, Nixon advisor John Ehrlichman would have called it a "limited hangout." Read the column for an explication."

Well, I won't argue too strenuously against your skepticism: but I don't see Munnell's kissy-kissy to Arpaio as evidence that he's trying to exonerate Arpaio at the expense of Hendershott. I agree that Munnell probably leaked the memo. I'm sure that he planned to do so all along, unless Arpaio took definite steps to rein in Hendershott.

But fer chrissake, what did anyone expect in terms of tone in a memo to the Big Man? "Dear Sourpuss, You know as well as I do what Hendershott has been up to, because he's a loyal servant -- but here's a list of what I know AND can prove about his sins (which are also yours)." I mean, c'mon. Munnell can't send a memo to Arpaio (whether or not intending to leak it later to the media) in which he accuses Arpaio himself of full cognizance and culpability. What would be the point, other than to end his career?

Car_del99
Car_del99

I wonder..how much money the joker made while in Mexico working as a DEA....from the cartels....

Rollem45
Rollem45

Well the Arpaio loyal continue to be confronted with insider stories that are being coraborated others. And all of this is done by MANAGERS at MCSO. When will the indictments come done. The FBI and DOJ have more than enough to finish Arpaio and the loyalty cult and all the corrupt possemembers. Excellent article

earthdayaz
earthdayaz

Again, I implore the FB to investigate Arpaio's connections in the federal law enforcement agencies he worked in and with in the past. Find the people he worked with. Trace them down. One of those people will be Arpaio's key to avoid prosecution - they will play one of their own "get out of jail free" cards on behalf of Arpaio. That's how the fed LEOs work together - they take care of their own. Find out the "key" man for Arpaio before he plays the card and Arpaio will have no way out and WILL go down.

JusticeSeeker
JusticeSeeker

Stephen, Outstanding investigative reporting AT unsnarling the tangled web of deceit, like only you have been able to do!! We thank you!!

JusticeSeeker
JusticeSeeker

Stephen, Outstanding investigative reporting are unsnarling the tangled web of deceit, like only you have been able to do!! We thank you!!

Coz
Coz

I believe it's time for a class action suit against MCSO, Arpaio, Hendershott and the rest of the command staff !

Polymarchs®
Polymarchs®

I'm tired od read and watch news about this Jose Arpayaso bastard, I'm getting sick of it !What DoJ is waiting for ?The only news I want to see soon is, this kkklown is behind bars for the rest of his miserable life.

Porter M. Corn
Porter M. Corn

Better yet, locked up in tent city, face down on a bunk with his pink drawers down around his flabby knees with Jorge y los vatos making him their bitch!

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