Joe Arpaio's Watergate: Read MCSO Deputy Chief Frank Munnell's Memo Here (w/Update)

henderblimp.jpg
Chief Deputy David Hendershott: Joe Arpaio's "cancer"

(Please see my update on this story, here.)

Someone should consider putting Sheriff Joe Arpaio's chief deputy, David Hendershott, on a suicide watch. The damning, 63-page memo from Deputy Chief Frank Munnell, first reported on by Joe Dana of Channel 12 News, reads like an indictment of Hendershott and his henchmen, MCSO Director Larry Black and Captain Joel Fox.

And it may precede actual indictments. Munnell acknowledges in the memo that he's spoken with the U.S. Attorney's Office, the state Attorney General's Office, and the FBI about his allegations that these men have "willfully and intentionally committed criminal acts by attempting to obstruct justice, tamper with witnesses, and destroy evidence."

Not that I expect anything to come of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu's investigation of the matter. He's the guy to whom Arpaio forwarded the allegations. In his memo, Munnell requests an investigation by the Arizona Department of Public Safety and for Hendershott, Black, and Fox to be put on administrative leave.

Instead, Arpaio sent the doc to a political ally, knowing full well that Babeu will treat it about the same way he's treated the allegations surrounding Deputy Louie Puroll and his supposed "shootout" in the desert.

But if the feds and those in the state Attorney General's office do their jobs, and follow the leads of Munnell and others they've been gabbing with, then Sheriff Joe Arpaio may have finally met his Watergate.

The document goes over so much ground that not even the Arizona Republic's front page story on the memo today was able to regurgitate it all. And just having read the doc myself, I'm not going to attempt to rehash it in its entirety. However, I will do something the Republic should have done, but hasn't yet: I'm going to link to a PDF of it, here.

Suffice it to say that Munnell plays the role of White House counsel John Dean to Arpaio's President Richard Nixon. Similar to Dean, Munnell essentially informs his boss that there's a cancer on his office. And that cancer is David Hendershott.

Munnell even slips into the Watergate analogy himself at one point.

"Sheriff," he writes to Arpaio, "just as Richard Nixon did not need the help of the Watergate conspirators to win his election, you did not need the ill-advised SCA funded smear video to win yours."

That smear video was aimed at Arpaio's 2008 rival Dan Saban. It was paid for by the so-called "Sheriff's Command Association," headed up by Fox. Munnell claims he was personally asked by Hendershott to donate to the SCA through electronic deductions from his paychecks.

Once the scandal had been exposed in the media, Munnell alleges Hendershott coached him on how to respond to a criminal investigation by the state Attorney General's office. Munnell says he cooperated with the investigation to Hendershott's dismay. Hendershott supposedly told him that Munnell "would probably be the star witness against me."

Indeed, the main reason Munnell wrote the memo, according to him, was because of fear of retaliation from Hendershott. He says Hendershott proposed removing Munnell, a 30-year MCSO veteran, from his position as chief of patrol because Munnell was cooperating with the FBI probe of the MCSO. 

As I want to get this blog post up and give you a chance to read the memo, I'll post another item later hitting some of the highlights. The MCSO comes off as an agency riddled with corruption, with Hendershott leading his pack of wolves as they devour the MCSO from the inside out. 

There's plenty in the memo about how Hendershott has allegedly profited like a drug baron from his trips to Honduras (thus the picture at the top front of New Times' Web site showing Hendy, far left, in tropical shirt and hat) to pimp facial recognition technology, the posse's pink underwear money, renting out the posse as a security force, handing out plum jobs to his relatives and cronies, and on and on.

Hendershott is also apparently a tyrant and a bully who uses fear and intimidation to get his way and punish those who fail to do his bidding. Not that this depiction will raise any eyebrows.

One other thing I should note: Munnell is not the only one who has complained to Arpaio about Hendershott's misdeeds. Several other top command staff have done so as well, according to Munnell, only to be rebuffed by Arpaio. If true, the corruption reaches all the way to the top. And the question becomes almost the same as in Watergate: What did the sheriff know, and when did he know it?

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87 comments
bobpomeroy
bobpomeroy

How many times must the (fill in the blank).

Anon
Anon

Wow! Lots can be solved by reading this blog putting the jigsaw puzzle together. This all sounds like today's breaking story in CA:

Bell officials arrested as prosecutors are set to file criminal charges [Updated] | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Timeshttp://latimesblogs.latimes.co...

Coz
Coz

Pity Maricopa County doesn't have the same standards against corruption.Here in KKKland, they welcome corruption by County leaders as longs as your one of the good old boys or Bozo Joe Arpaio.

desertrat
desertrat

Put them on leave to save the Bell, CA scenario..

http://latimesblogs.latimes.co..."This is corruption on steroids," Cooley said.]

The charges are expected to be detailed at a morning press conference, according to a source with knowledge of the case who was not authorized to comment publicly. A witness told The Times he saw Councilman Luis Artiga taken away in handcuffs Tuesday morning.

A neighbor of Hernandez said authorities used a battering ram on his front door after he failed to answer the door.

"They broke the door down," said the neighbor, who only gave his name as Jose. "They knocked down the door and they brought him out in cuffs."]

Anon
Anon

Wow! What drama-- where the hell was the oversight and accountability?

Anon
Anon

A wake-up call...

Bell officials arrested as prosecutors are set to file criminal charges [Updated] | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Timeshttp://latimesblogs.latimes.co...

desertrat
desertrat

oh, you must be kidding, Maricopa County? no way.

William45
William45

Coz....you would be much more respected if you acted like an adult. Your playground humor and vulgar language only go to prove how juvenile you really are. I am sure that most people just read your comments and say to themself..."idiot." Lastly........rod duty? How old are you, 13? Grow up!!

Coz
Coz

What make you think I give a shit what you think ?

Coz
Coz

So lets see....

Hendershott, Lisa Allen & Frank Munnell are out on medical leave, Black & Fox are out on Admin leave, Arpaio is in New Hamshire pimping for God knows what, so who is running the MCSO corruption circus now ?

Sheridan ? (Another scumbag)

LOL, unbelievable. This just gets better all the time.

Anuncer222
Anuncer222

You are right. I was just being sarcastic by only hinting his name. Its Larry Wendt. Former Chief Deputy, Deputy Chief, former Phoenix PD Chief and the guy in charge of the prisons for many years all during the reforms. Runs the Buffalo Chip Saloon in Cave Creek now. Keep looking and you will find amazing things and his power still exists, though he is no longer officially connected to the department. He is regularly stopped for speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving and the officers that do bother to write tickets are told "you can write him if you want to, but the paperwork will never be seen again after you submit to office. Dave Hendershott himself instructed us never to bother him for any reason. Why would he be so free to do whatever he wants? He knows too much to worry and is happy with his power base being maintained even on the outside of the department. A recent official from another agency told me personally that she had never seen someone with as much power over information and reports who did not work for the department anymore. I hope someone has the cajones to take a long, har look at this guy and his relationships to the department heads. Wish I could be more out front with this. It isn't right and reminds me of a bad old B movie..

Anon
Anon

a bad old B movie is what life in Maricopa County is like... perfect description. If the taxpayers weren't being ripped off by the millions and millions this would be a laugh.

Rollem45
Rollem45

What a great read. Munnell has so much to offer. I will read this again and count the number of loyalty references made. I particularly like the use by Arpaio to narrate his defense through Munnell. Just a couple of quick obvserations.1. Jerry Sheridan sits on the AZPOST Board and oversees the certification rules and regulations. If Joel Foxx or Hendercheat have failed to meet the yearly certification requirements, why didn't Sheridan take action since Sheridan is Munnell sponsor at MCSO and Munnell was aware of this violation? Munnell had access to complain.2. If Munnell knew about Hendercheat's co-mingling of the Pink Underwear fund back in the 1990's and Munnell was aware that the FBI had the same computers from the posse as evidence and the subsequent denial of investigation because of a lack of evidence, why didn't he speak up then? Maybe to keeps his promotion track then. Hendercheat received a letter from the FBI corruption unit clearing him. Thanks Frank.3.If Arpaio received contradictory information from Hendershott from what was reported by Wilinchek about the arrest of New Times guys, why didn't Arpaio question and take leadership in making the record straight rather than supporting Hendershott's tale of events or deflection of events? Arpaio was in charge of the case and not a sideline observer.More to come later.

The Class West
The Class West

The Associates say they want the Truth. If it's Stepehn Lemons delivering it, they actually praise him. One wrote,

"Lemons was never our friend, but if he's telling the Truth we respect him for that. He's providing documentation also. That helps his credibility.

I always told our crew to NOT NOT NOT get too close to Joe Arpaio. Thank God we didn't. We did our own thing - sued the City of Phoenix in a class action that is holding them liable for their sanctuary policies that hurt BOTH legal citizens and the undocumented. Phoenix's pandering policies allow the illegals to get killed, raped, and beaten as hostages in the droiphouses we shut down.

Our lawsuit is weaving its way up to SCOTUS at this point, awaiting a ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit Joe Arpaio has never offered any support and we don't want it even if he did offer it. He and the MCSO are an embarassment to our pro-enforcement people, who have also assisted worthy illegals gain citizenship. For these efforts, some Arpaio supporters have called us "wetback-lovin' commies," "punks," "Socialist open borders rats," and other insane insults. Those were actual quotes from threatening Emails and IMs."

This guy actually thinks that Joe will target him, even though he's pro-enforcement. If Joe's really like that, we guess Stephen was right the whole time. We'll let it play out.

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

alehound
alehound

Now we find out Joel Fox is gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that lol.

William4516
William4516

Gee Coz...what will you do if Arpaio isn't around anymore? You'll have to move out of your parents basement and find a real job!

Coz
Coz

LOL...question is...what are YOU going to do when Arpaio isn't around anymore to suck his dick ?...Guess you'll have to find someone else to do rod duty with, huh ?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Nothing new going on here, by the way! If you want to look further for true evil and corruption, someone should check out the activities going on under Hendershott's predessor, (name omitted for my safety) but he is now the owner of a certain tourist attraction/bar restaurant in Cave Creek. He was buddies with Hendershott and hand picked him for his replacement. He too held (and holds) the belief system that he is free to do as he pleases to whomever he wishes under any circumstance he deems appropriate, legal or illegal, and acted illegally often under color of authority throughout his tenure as Chief Deputy and self-proclaimed architect for the prison reforms (he claims Joe just took credit but he created and implemented all of them) and let Joe take credit for the chain gangs, pink panties, tents, et. al. He was never held accountable for his illegal acts and probably never will. Stolen explosives for his personal use? No punishment. Drunk driving, traffic tickets, speeding tickets all notoriously disappeared or unwritten by order of Hendershott to this day! He is also also a big fat guy and it makes one wonder what these guys eat? Maybe the US Constitution and anyone who gets in their way are their entrees? Can't tell you who I am though I should be protected under the whistle blower laws, but won't be able to say because he has threatened my life and that of my family and I believe he would follow through. What is one or two more bodies buried in the desert to him? So all I can do is hope someone will check him out through records and interviews with braver witnesses than I. I need my job and love my wife and kids too much to risk it. Anon

Truth08
Truth08

You have got some more info, than I think any of us have ever heard of? I can understand you wanting to omit your name, but why the guy who supposedly behind all of this? I mean, you mention where is works now? What difference does it make if we new his name or not?

Regards,Truth

Anuncer222
Anuncer222

I did respond to this, truth 08' under the name anuncer222. Larry wendt is the name and was with both arpio and hendershott for years. He hand picked him for his replacement as chief deputy or deputy chief! They all have so much evidence on each other they would all have to go to prison forever.

Anon
Anon

there do not hesitate to incarcerate anyone they want to. now it's their turn to live in the jails they created for "others". karma is great.

Truth08
Truth08

meant--- 'knew' on above post.

Oh the humanity
Oh the humanity

Better put the blimp's son on leave also before he start's deleting records right and left.

Az Debtman
Az Debtman

Here's the no brainer. Investigate how many REDFLAGS were ordered through DES by way of MVD computers removed and then the so called new ones were installed. Investigagte how many elderly minority people SSN numbers were challenged right about election time because the new MVD computers didn't recognize SSN and forced people to prove their citizenship, SSN issuance dates, compared with their first job, proving that they are the age and the person they claim to be way back in the day. Investigage how many people were re-arrested on old quashed warrants but the new MVD computers REDFLAGGED all those names thus men, women were sent to jail, prison for a short spell before the proof from the old MVD computers in Hendershot's bankrupt, foreclosed, 276,000 Honduras crib on the west side! Arizona couldn't handle the "civil rights" violations. Arizona couldn't handle the truth if Der Furhrer Joe and his Blitzkrieg unto you "willingly and knowingly" broke federal laws, civil rights laws all for that GRANT MONEY from the GOP Border BEAT! Now he wants to create what THE COMMISSION, seriously the next Economic Opportunity at the Hispanic, Latino Mexican American unattested unto Babeu Border! Investigate that. Do a poll on if you were a veteran returning from the theatre and REDFLAGGED denied medical care because you have a old ticket you paid, but the NEW MVD computers installed by THE SHERRIF claims different and in some cases did jail time again!

Truth08
Truth08

Why don't you clarify some of those points? There are many I have not even heard of?

How did you know anything about these computers you mention? How about the Medical insurance denied to these Hispanic Vets? How many were questioned at voting booths?

Please enlighten us? These are new issues to me at least? I am in the dark-so to speak, on what you mentioned?...And I've been keeping up with the issues, for long while.

Regards,Truth

James Bailey
James Bailey

Did you notice the typo in the very first sentence of the letter? What is this guy a high school dropout?

Rollem45
Rollem45

This is on purpose and suggested by the public relations gurus to give it a not-to-polished look of the common man. How many of those named had the opportunity to read through this including Lisa Allen, Freeman, Knight, Seebert...strangely missing are the names of Locksa and Overton....

Marcy
Marcy

Cops aren't known for their intellect. As the letter explains, they are better known for being school yard bullies who never grew up.

James Bailey
James Bailey

Can you provide the public with a log of all the lies of Apayaso's PR agent Allen? That woman should go down in herstory as the most lying, coniving person on the face of the planet! I mean, there's a movie in this and the pages of the New Times could provide the script!

Let's also expose those haters who have been whipped into a frenzy by these rats. This country is too powerful and too large to be allowed to be converted, ala Germany's 1930s hate politics, into a power against good.by these two bit hoods.

Pluto
Pluto

Munnell did not write this on his own. He clearly had help from an attorney. The phrasing is legal and police officers do not write such well written material. There is much more going on here.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Pluto, I will disagree. Many police officers learn to write very well over the course of their careers, or they (like myself) actually take law courses in college and have to learn to write well. Perhaps not the majority, I will grant you that.

Since I've not seen anything else authored by Munnell I can't say if it seems he doesn't have this level of writing skill. Perhaps you know more.

Coz
Coz

Rats running from a sinking ship

bob gelder
bob gelder

huh? it seems like you are implying that Munnell has no credibility because he consulted a lawyer? IMO everyone on the MSCO command staff should be seeking private counsel. there is bound to be a shit storm in that office sooner now than later from the looks of things

Anon
Anon

Forgive the multiple posts, but I keep having new thoughts.

Does the alleged behavior of Hendershott, and company have anything to do with refusal to turn over documents to DoJ and provide access to facility/personnel?

It certainly seems like it would. But I wonder if that even crosses Hendershott's mind about what he has to hide. Maybe it is more of him not liking anybody telling him what to do.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Tommy, Am I on the right track here?

Babeu has way too much visibility on this one to be an AARPaio stooge here. He can't afford politically to come up with a whitewash result that is radically different than what the FBI and others will come up with. If witnesses agree with Frank's memo, these things have to be addressed. They are in the public now. Babeu is on trial and he knows it. In many of these cases, he may join or defer to other criminal investigations already in progress and may provide supporting documentation to other investigators. Babeu may start some new criminal cases. To the extent that there is not conflict wtih existing criminal cases, Babeu may start some administrative or internal affairs inquiries. I am sure that with this much visibility, Babeu will do a great job and do it very aggressively with one possible exception noted below.

The real open questions for AARPaio and Babeu are:1. What level of control of these cases remains with AARPaio?2. If the evidence points toward Joe:- Can/will AARPaio take the cases back?- Can/will AARPaio kill or attempt to kill the investigations?- Will Babeu follow the evidence?- Will we get a straight accounting of AARPaio's culpability?- Does Babeu have the nads to recommend charges against Joe if warranted?

Finally, does Bill Montgomery have the honor to prosecute as required by law after Joe spent so much to make sure he beat Romley? Would Montgomery even be a prosecutor after he 'owes' AARPaio?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Gerry, you make some really good points.

I am bothered that the memo asked for an internal investigation, instead of a criminal investigation. On another blog I brought up this point since Garrity won't let anything inculpatory, discovered during an internal investigation, be used to initiate a criminal investigation, i.e, probable cause. It will be interesting to see how the legal minds use this twist, since the memo has been made public.

The Flaccid Fool should have NO SAY from this point forward on what happens with the investigation, period, since he handed it to another agency. If Babeu wants to hand it back he can certainly do so, as did Sheila Polk when he hands became bloodied by the filth contained in the case file she was handed by MCSO.

If the investigation is indeed treated as an internal investigation I believe any discipline for any sustained policy violations would be at the hand of the sheriff of MCSO. He literally could take NO disciplinary action.

Babeu is bringing in special counsel and investigators so he can wash his hands of the result of the investigation, thus allowing him to say to MCSO, "I had nothing to do with it, sorry". He will 'direct' the investigation but can't be held responsible for the outcome.

I believe any investigation will result in 'spin off' charges, including the sheriff. At that point someone will have to order a take over of MCSO and have the sheriff removed. I don't recall the exact process at this moment, however.

Montgomery would be wise to recuse MCAO and send the investigation to another county (Sheila Polk?) for charges. I am expecting there will be federal charges, as well as state, so there may be a tussle over who has jurisdiction. Should be interesting to watch that one develop.

I hope that answered some of your very good questions. Sorry it took me two days to reply.

Anon
Anon

If Hendershott is out since August, who is running the store?

Spartacus
Spartacus

Has Hendershott been on medical leave since August? That's an interesting coincidence, if true.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Nothing coincidental, at all. I believe records will show that he did the same thing last summer, in conjunction with his summer vacation. He probably needed the smoggy air of Honduras for recovery.

KingCast
KingCast

Oh it's sure 'nuff heavy, isn't it? I hope folks at We Are Media spread it as well:http://kellyayottesenate.blogs...

You guys need to start posting at Firedoglake:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

KingCast salutes the spirit of Arizona's "We are Media!" -- together we will expose Joe Arpaio and U.S. Senate hopeful Kelly Ayotte.

I have not literally met Phoenix New Times' Stephen Lemons or AZ activist journalist Dennis Gilman, but the beauty of it is, we don't have to meet in order to work together and to share important information about issues that shape the future of this Country.

Related: Firedoglake, “The Nefarious Relationship Between Joe Arpaio & Senate Candidate Kelly Ayotte.”

And the We are Media! program and efforts to expose Kelly Ayotte and Joe Arpaio's antics are prime examples of that type of work. Regard today's AZ Republic on Joe Arpaio's imploding Sheriff's Office as he throws Chief Deputy David Hendershott under the bus. And Ayotte pandering up to this creep shows her mettle.

-KingCast.

PS: Check out my typical hate mail from Arpaio's buddy, Senate Candy Kelly Ayotte:http://kellyayottesenate.blogs...

Sickening.

Black Ops
Black Ops

and so it begins, the air creakily escaping from the tyrannical entity know as the dirigible Hendershott. Why is Hinderburgs house nicer than Arpaios? With whose cash has Arpaio been purchasing real estate with? Jump ship now MCSO rats, maybe you can get a deal. Or you can take the fall...

Tina
Tina

You've expressed my sentiments on this matter better than I could have, and that "looking for a needle in a needle stack" was a perfect analogy to describe it. After the existence of the federal grand jury became known to the public (convened to looked into MCSO's abuse of power allegations) earlier this year, it seems like every other week after that he (Arpaio) would pull some new misdeed or wrongdoing, and with every one I'd think to myself, "well, there's another one they have to add to their list." Yes, sorting and arranging all the "needles" has got to be an agonizing chore.

GENO
GENO

You cannot always trust the FBI in getting the job done. Have you seen how they handled the serial rapist investigation on the Ft. Apache Rez? They didn't do their job in that one, so how are we to expect how this one would turn out??? The only major difference is that they were supposed to locate a serial rapist and nothing more. In the MSCO case, they got already have suspects on site and a pile of evidence.

Do we really trust the FBI in doing their job???

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

"look over there! Was that a comet?"

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

My favorite part, was where Candy's hit bimbo Lisa told MCSO to use "creative writing" when showing cause for a search warrant!

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Any bets on Joel Fox coming here and trying to defend himself? He was so willing during the SCA thing!

Anon
Anon

Wow! This line is great..."The MCSO comes off as an agency riddled with corruption, with Hendershott leading his pack of wolves as they devour the MCSO from the inside out." Hendershott looks like he ate them all.

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