Joe Arpaio's Boy Rich Burden of "Colorado Kool-Aid" Fame Retires Due to Pending Demotion
YouTube Burden, from a video (see below) featuring him sucking back some suds
The last time this blog bothered with MCSO Lieutenant Rich Burden, it was 2011, and I had stumbled across a video of Burden on YouTube taking great delight in imbibing "Colorado Kool-Aid in California," and making an un-PC crack about drunk driving.
"I am not drinking and driving, at all," the do-rag-wearin' Burden tells the camera. "I drink, then drive."
Burden later told me the video as an "error" and an "oversight" on his part.
Known as a one-time pal of fired, disgraced former Chief Deputy David Hendershott and somewhat infamous for his participation in past MCSO shenanigans, Burden more recently had been promoted to captain, and was acting commander of MCSO's District IV, which includes Cave Creek.
But in a letter Burden emailed a couple of days ago to fellow MCSO employees, he announced his sudden retirement, saying Chief Deputy David Trombi had informed him that he "did not meet Office Standards," and was being busted back to lieutenant.
"I was made aware by Sheriff Arpaio's Command Staff today," writes Burden, "that they have decided I did not meet the satisfactory completion of my probationary period for the position of Captain.Their intention is to demote me back to Lieutenant and transfer me to MCSO Training."
Burden relates that the MCSO's upper echelon did not offer a reason why this was done, and that it did not have to, because he was still on probation for his promotion to captain.
The lieutenant discusses the "shock & awe" of his situation, claiming he didn't see it coming.
"It's amazing to go from one day at mock 5 [sic] and the world being an awesome beautiful place to full reverse with Mar's [sic] attacking and no end in sight," Burden states.
Despite Burden's surprise at being demoted, he seems to allude to some incident that may have prompted the MCSO's decision.
"I want each of you to know, I did what I thought was right and at the same time knowing each of you were my number one concern," he writes. "My career is and will be unfulfilled do to this unforeseen decision made today."
Granted, it's a vague statement. Since Burden's phone number was at the end of the letter, I gave him a call. Naturally, he sounded bummed. I asked if there had been an internal affairs investigation of some kind ongoing.
"Yeah," he replied. "But it wasn't focused on me."