Joe Arpaio's Alleged DUI-Deputies: Lieutenant Aaron Brown and Detective Stephen Palmer
It took a lot for the cops to wake Palmer. Sergeant Ralph Flores, Palmer's arresting officer, shook him and barked orders at him until he was sentient.
Flores noted the strong smell of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle, and that Palmer's speech was slurred. The sergeant relates that he did not finish field sobriety tests due to Palmer "not being able to stand on his own."
When asked where he was employed, Palmer said he "worked for Joe Arpaio" as a deputy sheriff.
"I asked the subject if he had been drinking," writes Flores. "He said that was a stupid question and said yes."
Flores told Palmer he could be arrested for DUI because he was allegedly snockered and found sitting behind the wheel snoozing, "with the ignition on."
Writes Flores, "Mr. Palmer replied in a very condescending voice `do what you got to do.'"
When Flores tried to administer the breath test, "Palmer turned his head and told me to get it away...[he] was very defiant during the entire contact."
Because Palmer refused the breath test, the cops drew blood. An analysis indicated that the blood sample had an alcohol concentration of .232.
Palmer currently faces two DUI charges, two extreme DUI charges, and a citation for stopping his car on the curb. His next court date is March 7.
Several cops I've spoken to at different agencies in the Valley tell me that the discipline meted out by a department to a cop in either of these situations would be severe, and might include suspension or even firing.
Though MCSO has not replied to my requests for info on Brown and Palmer, my sources indicate that both men are still employed by MCSO and neither were suspended. If I find out differently, I'll update this post.
I have not heard of Palmer before, but Brown has already earned a reputation during his tenure with MCSO. Not only did Brown once play aide-de-camp to fired, disgraced ex-MCSO Chief Deputy David Hendershott, he also was mentioned prominently in the investigation into the Fiesta Bowl scandal.
See, the lieutenant ran Blue Steel Consulting, a security consulting company that came into existence because ex-Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker gave Brown $350K of Fiesta Bowl funds to help Blue Steel get started.
It's been reported that the Fiesta Bowl paid Brown's firm more than $500,000 in one year, and the special counsel's report on the scandal related how Junker and Brown once held a "security site planning session" at Phoenix's Bourbon Street strip club, where Junker dropped $1,241 during the course of the evening.
There's more. Brown and another deputy, Jason Lier, were involved in an incident in 2005, where Lier shot a man's eye out during their stay in post-Katrina New Orleans, ostensibly to help the residents.
With Brown driving, Lier fired at the unarmed man for no apparent reason. That episode cost the county $2 million in a settlement with the victim.
Which, just reading about, makes me long for a stiff drink. At home, mind you. At home.