Did Joe Arpaio "Threaten" Joe Arpaio by Publishing His Home Address on the Internet?

sheriff_joe.jpgRemember the hubbub in 2007 when Sheriff Joe Arpaio's bad boys tossed our owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, into jail for having written about the agency's Banana Republic-like "investigation" into us for publishing the old guy's home address on the Internet?

Now, seems Joe's threatened Joe by publishing his address on the Web. But first a little background.

The arrests came a few months after Arpaio's pal, County Attorney Andy Thomas, sicced his moneymaking private attorney Dennis Wilenchik after us.

Wilenchik then had demanded a ton of information from us in so-called "grand jury" subpoenas, including the names, reading habits, and other stuff about the folks who read this rag on our Web site.

Not in this lifetime, fella.

The little-known and legally untested law on which Wilenchik and his patrons, Joe and Andy, were relying calls it a felony to publish put addresses and other personal data of police officers on the Internet -- if that information poses an "immediate and serious threat" to the officers and if the person publishing had meant for it to be a threat.

That law says it still is okay to publish the same information in newspapers and magazines, to report it on television or on the radio, or to stick it up on a billboard, if wish.

The whole exercise was a heavy-handed ruse by Joe and Andy, perhaps with their end game being to try to stamp out this pesky weekly and reporter John Dougherty, who broke more stories about the laughable lawman while with this paper than the rest of us put together.

We pretty much sorted out the back story on the whole Internet publication imbroglio last year. What a waste of taxpayer money it was!

God knows, imagine if the endless (and costly) hours that investigators spent on the bizarre would-be "case" against us had been devoted to tracking down the real criminals out there.

Anyway, what brought all of that ancient history flooding back to us was a December 8 document filed in the Maricopa County Recorder's Office by Joe and Ava Arpaio. Ava's the old coot's lovely wife of more than a half a century -- what she ever saw in the strange little fella, well, let's not go there.

The document's called a Statement of Organization, and its title sadly is self-explanatory:

REELECT JOE ARPAIO 2012.

We had to take a gander. Right there on page one of the Arpaios' own document is their home address out in Fountain Hills.

Publishing the home address of a law-enforcement type (even a hack politician) on the Internet was the entire basis of the Thomas/Arpaio investigation, right?    

Any neophyte Internet surfer could find Joe's home address in a flash.

No, we're not gonna publish it again. Ain't the point. Those with a need to know can rush the aforementioned site, or pay a few bucks to any number of people-search sites on the Web.

Talk about hypocritic, or just plain dumb: In interviews with an investigator from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office during the protracted investigation against Dougherty and the paper, the Arpaios claimed that they feared for their lives because the paper had outed the home address in Dougherty's column.

Perhaps Thomas' crack investigative squad and Joe's Special Enforcement Unit ought to team up and consider busting Joe and Ava for putting Joe and Ava at risk.

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