Love, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Style: Captain Joel Fox and Deputy Chief Larry Black Discuss L-Word Repeatedly in E-Mails

joel fox hearing 1.jpg
Captain Joel Fox of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office loves his boss, Larry Black. And Black loves him back. The lovebirds remain on adminstrative leave pending a wide-ranging internal investigation.

​Captain Joel Fox and Deputy Chief Larry Black "love" each other.

And they'll always have "LA."

Seriously.

These two key figures from the SCA scandal, the sordid affair of a secret ad fund and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's apparently corrupt minions, discuss their emotional bond in a series of e-mails that state investigators pried out of Fox's home computer. Both Black and Fox are on paid  administrative leave, along with their boss, Chief Deputy David Hendershott, pending a wide-ranging internal investigation.

The e-mails exchanges between Black and Fox show that as they planned a way to launder tens of thousands of dollars from rich folks across the country for sleazy attack ads targeting the opponents of Arpaio and soon-to-be-disbarred former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, their relationship went far beyond professional.

"Now say, for example, (and I know this is not true), the bible said to stop loving you, then I would NOT stop loving you," Joel Fox wrote in a lengthy e-mail to Larry Black on August 4, 2007, at 10:32 p.m. "So my love for you is more important to me than the Bible. And if you punched me in the mouth and knocked me down, I would get back up and chase after you to find out why. Because my love for you is more important than my pride. This is also why I don't care what people say about us."

Fox's love did not go unrequited.

"Even though we are thousands of miles away, I can hear you talking in my heart and your message is crystal clear," Black wrote to Fox in October of 2007. "I love you, dear friend, stay safe and you are in my thoughts ... always. Talk to you sooner still!!! I am getting excited for you to get back. (Not wanting to see your vacation end...) but you know what I mean."

The love letters can be found from pages 135 to 167 in one of the PDFs of the state Attorney General's investigative report into the SCA, published in its entirety last Thursday in Valley Fever.

We've detailed parts of this report, which is an unprecedented look into the inner workings of Arpaio's headquarters -- and evidence of the scam known as the SCA. The e-mails between Fox and Black add a weird, soap-opera-like element to the mess, and make Arpaio look like the admiral of his very own Love Boat.

The e-mails weren't written on MCSO accounts -- they're too "smart" for that. Like their shady boss, Hendershott, they avoid publicly traceable e-mail in favor of private accounts that mix business and -- especially in the case of Fox and Black -- pleasure. (Why do we find it so amusing that Fox's e-mail handle was "jdzorro?" Maybe this is why.)

"And yes, I am smart enough to use a personal computer to send e-mails from, so there is no record, other than my own computer, which doesn't really exist," Fox wrote to Black in December of 2008.

A search warrant and seizure changed all that.

Former Attorney General Terry Goddard's investigators believed that the SCA players may have violated campaign-finance law, and a judge allowed them to mirror and inspect the hard-drives of Fox's computers. The e-mails about "love" between Fox and Black are interspersed with communications about their SCA-related legal problem, setting up domain names to help Arpaio's 2008 re-election efforts and other Sheriff's Office business.

For instance, in a January 16, 2009 e-mail, Fox tells Black that he's seeking Hendershott's help to counter some of the arguments raised in the civil action filed against him and the SCA by the elections department and County Attorney's Office.

the shack book cover.jpg
Why does Joel Fox want Larry Black to read "The Shack?"

Fox wants to know if Black thinks it would be okay for Fox to get Hendershott's "personal phone number" from Black. Or if calling Hendershott directly "would be bad," then maybe Black could set up a meeting between him and Hendershott. Black could sit in on the meeting, if he liked. "I trust no one but you," Fox wrote.

 

In the same e-mail, Fox urges Black to read The Shack, a popular Christian self-help-type book written by William Young.

"I also hope you know how much I love you," Fox says, wrapping it up. "'The Shack' explains what that means pretty well, I think."

We haven't read the book, but a Google search shows that Christian writers have criticized The Shack, in part for being too open-minded. It's almost as if Fox wants Black to use the book's message of a non-judgmental god to help him decide something.

Black responds that he's thinking about the "changes/decisions that affect me," but that the SCA case was the more important matter, for now. Black says he'll set up the meeting with "DH" (Hendershott). He signs off, "I will see you Sunday because I want to not because...I feel I have to. Your friend ALWAYS... Larry."

Frank Munnell, the high-ranking MCSO commander whose allegations kicked off the internal investigation into Hendershott, Black, and Fox, stated in his 65-page memo that Fox had been suspected of having a homosexual affair with a subordinate whom he showed favoritism toward at work.

In their e-mails, Black and Fox don't come out and say they had sex or are having a gay affair. If you didn't know these were middle-aged law enforcement officers, you'd mistake the writers for teenagers.

"You do not want love, if that love is not returned. You think it is foolish," Fox wrote in the August 4, 2007, e-mail. "You think this because this is what people will say. You think being perceived as foolish is a bad thing. You don't want people to think you are foolish because then you will feel insecure. But I am a fool. I am happily a fool. And I will love as much as I possibly can until I don't have any more moments to spend. And even then, if there really is more, then I will still love. I will love you, and I will love others, too, but YOU will always be the most important one to me."

Then there's a reference to "a hotel room in Los Angeles one stormy night four years ago" that he shared with Black, during which Black shared "his heart" with Fox.

The next day, Fox again refers to something that happened in "LA." This LA appears to be Louisiana, though:

"Just be. Be Larry. Love Larry. Or, you could settle for "fine," believe that "fine" is all there is, or all you deserve, and keep on every day breathing until your very last day, when you will very likely say, 'man, I wish I would have risked a little more, and loved a little more, and not been so scared of being rejected or being hurt or looking stupid or foolish. I wish I wouldn't have waited to say what I wanted to say.' It is much more fun being Alive than it is just living life. You were Alive in LA. and the only difference between then and now is what you believe to be true."

Black also told Fox that he wanted to "live like Lousiana every day." The lovebirds were featured in Arpaio's 2008 book, Joe's Law, as they took a road trip to New Orleans together after Hurricane Katrina.

Another bizarre passage by the verbose Fox in an April 2006 e-mail reminds us of the famous, coy exchange in the 1960s film, Spartacus:

spartacus oysters scene.jpg
Can you imagine if the only place to eat lunch was Wendy's?

Marcus Licinius Crassus: Do you eat oysters?
Antoninus: When I have them, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Do you eat snails?
Antoninus: No, master.

...

 

Marcus Licinius Crassus: My robe, Antoninus. My taste includes both snails and oysters.

Fox's version is a more modern take:

"If there are multiple options, then I get to choose, and I am free," Fox wrote to Black. "We both like Wendy's, but can you imagine if the only place to eat lunch was Wendy's? ... Without someplace else to eat, you cannot choose to eat at Wendy's. And you are not free to decide where to eat."

Without choice, Fox goes on, "I could never show my heart, and then my heart would be useless."

He wants Black to battle the struggles in his heart, "and when the battle is over, I will be here with you, loving you. I will sharpen your sword, mend your armor, show you a few new tricks and heal your wounds."

Black seems to succumb to Fox's encouragement.

"Battles or perceived battles with you hit my heart and not my mind which means I don't think first which causes things to get worse," Black tells Fox.

On administrative leave for the last few months, these two lovebirds have had plenty of time on their hands. Wonder what they've been up to?

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112 comments
Kingjin2
Kingjin2

I'm so glad that all of these people have the nerve to say these things about Joel Fox, with out even knowing the man him self. God forbid a man finds faith and shares love with people. why don't we just crucify a guy for having emotion. public slander takes nothing to do, calling him names is childish, at least Mr.fox had the metal to come on here and defend him self. It gives me great joy to see the "adults" of my community cyber bullying each other. This whole thing is no better then teenage drama on facebook.

linkiss
linkiss

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NorthAdamsReruns
NorthAdamsReruns

"Frank Munnell, the high-ranking MCSO commander whose allegations kicked off the internal investigation into Hendershott, Black, and Fox, stated in his 65-page memo that Fox had been suspected of having a homosexual affair with a subordinate whom he showed favoritism toward at work."

Hey, wait. Isn't that Munnell complaint "investigation" being handled the Pinal County sheriff "who has been suspected of having homosexual affairs with just about anyone, any day of the week?"

Gives a whole new meaning to being on the sheriff's staff.

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George_W_Obama
George_W_Obama

This is hilarious, and I don't have sympathy for either of these two guys, but the story isn't really relevant to anything having to do with the investigation into MCSO wrongdoing. It is vindictive and solely meant to embarrass and offend. Like a high-school bully spreading rumors that the kid with the weird haircut is queer. I'm sure neither Larkin and Lacey would like a newspaper to delve into their personal lives yet they preside over a newspaper empire based on sensational tales of personal destruction.

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Marcy
Marcy

Joel,

You and Larry have nothing to be ashamed about with regard to your love affair. But you both have a lot to be ashamed about with regard to what you've done at the MCSO.

Pit Boss
Pit Boss

My advice to Mr. Fox (and Mr. Black), and to quote the greatest comedian ever, Louis C.K.:

"Quit being a faggot and suck that dick!"

Seriously, I know you can't "officially" come out because of your current affiliation with a group of good ole boy rednecks with power, but you're already in a lot of trouble and covering up for your bosses is just going to get them out of trouble and you into more. Doesn't solve anything and screws the public, again.

I only hope you do the right thing as it involves this case for everyone's sake (as a LEO, your job was/is to protect and serve the public, NOT your bosses).

Additionally, I hope you both can come to terms with your homosexuality in a peaceful way. I couldn't imagine being gay anywhere in this world, let alone when you work day in and day out with a group of bigoted scumbags.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

BTW, what ever happened to Juan Mendoza, Justin Case, Dr. Chuck U. Farly, and all the other chickenshits that used to come on here anonymously and spew their idiocy about how great Arpaio and Thomas were and how we were all just blind open border advocates?

Where are you guys now that Munnell exposed MCSO and Thomas is about to be disbarred?

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Remember Oliver Cromwell's comments to the Long Parliament?

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you?

Is there one vice you do not possess?

Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes?

Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone!

So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!"

What was germane to the Long Parliament certainly works for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department - and the Arizona State Legislature.

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Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I would not doubt that Zorro is having sword fights with his Brokeback lover.

Former Republican
Former Republican

Joel suggests I go back and re-read what he wrote. Sorry, Joel...I read all the published emails and couldn't continue because they were nauseating.I don't CARE frankly what your preferences are. I only care that if you are charged with enforcing the laws in this county, that you maintain high standards of ethical behavior yourself.Your have failed MISERABLY to discharge your duties in an ethical manner. The entire AG report is ripe with one example after another of your attempts to cover your hind end and trying to maintain a lie that just cannot be covered up. You apparently lie so much that you just don't know how to do anything else.Law enforcement doesn't need any more of THAT type of behavior.

Former Republican
Former Republican

"But I am a fool. I am happily a fool"

Perhaps the ONLY truth Joel Fox has spoken since his MCSO career started. You are still a fool, Fox, but are you still a Happy Fool?

Former Republican
Former Republican

Joel: you need to do time for your SCA crimes and for your attempt to cover up your crap by continuing to lie.YOU kept telling all of us on the blogs the EXACT OPPOSITE of what really happened.You also have NO BUSINESS using a county paid computer to access porn sites and send any love letters to Larry Black.I also find your comments about the wife to be insulting and demeaning. I hope she leaves you after reading THOSE comments. Time for you to realize your law enforcement career is over. Perhaps your CON career is just starting.You've been pretending for far too long. Now get real.

Just asking
Just asking

I am confused. I am definitely NOT a supporter of the MCSO and I am gay, So why bring cheap shit out on cheap shit? If you know what I mean. Is this serioulsly an issue and is the material on them that dry? Just asking.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Fox has been very public with his stories of his personal honesty, his straight nature, his never lying, etc. What is reported here contradicts statements that Joel has made in the past. I believe Joel opened the door here.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I was not thinking about the spouses and families when I read your statement Marcy. Tommy makes an important point and a good moral point. I don't care if the wangle each others dangles, but the screwing they have given the taxpayers and their own families is outrageous and morally bankrupt. I stand...not corrected, but enlightened. Thanks Tommy.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Marcy, I will disagree with part of your statement. If, indeed, they are involved in a love affair that is also physical, they owe it to their female partners (spouses, I think) to let them know because of the dangers of male homosexual intercourse. I will assume this has already occurred...

With regard to their behavior at MCSO, yes there is lots of room for shame there. The SCA story is likely just the tip of the proverbial iceberg...

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

That is a pretty good statement Marcy.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Chad, this guy Usgovfail appears to be one of their twin brothers from another mother. Or perhaps one of them now in drag.... funny to read his written manure, but not worth wasting time or effort on a reply...

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Holy crap, Mike, that might be the best post I've ever read on New Times.

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

Amen Brother, its time to start putting uniforms on real Law Enforment Officers instead of these sorry excuses of men, they are a disgrace, they not only make a Laughling stock of their department but evey other department as well.

XSoldier
XSoldier

I think Joel has finally admitted what Maricopa County taxpayers have known all along: That he is indeed a fool. That he is happily a fool.

Joel
Joel

You need to go back a re-read what I wrote. If you're going to call me a liar, why not quote me? Too much trouble for your quick and easy judgments?I have never used a county computer to access porn sites. I'd ask you to read up on how all that works before you level unjustified allegations my way, but why start now?

I guess you guys all think that I should go home and stand at attention in my closet or just spend my off time polishing my boots and shining my brass. I don't. I have a life and in that life is a lot of humor, some of which you might find crass. But I'm not trying to make you laugh so I don't expect you to understand it. I expect you to judge me like you think you're better than me.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Good point, Just Asking. All of our hatred for MCSO has come because they treat other humans that aren't like them with such contempt and bigotry. We shouldn't stoop to their level. I apologize.

I think the point of the article is that MCSO is full of deceptive liars whose private personas are very different from how they hold themselves out to the public.

George_W_Obama
George_W_Obama

I would agree with you if either if them were a minister who preaches anti-gay rhetoric, or a conservative politician with an anti-gay agenda, or even a cop who runs a vice squad who does gay sex stings. However, Fox's sexuality has never been made an issue before and I haven't read anywhere that Black denied the allegation of having a relationship with a subordinate, so what exactly is the point other than to revel in their personal destruction. I know these guys have hurt a lot of people, including people who comment regularly on this blog. As funny and entertaining as I found this to be I can't help asking myself whether it was necessary and what the consequences are for the families. Suppose Fox or Black blow their brains out. How funny would it be then?

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Cromwell had a real way with words and was a fine combat soldier. Too bad he was such an a-hole in Ireland.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Keep in mind, USWV, they are being led by a man who wears a plastic pistol tie tack....

Former Republican
Former Republican

Joel: On your OFF time? You're entire work week is OFF time and you're on administrative leave. You are being paid to "stand at attention" and await further instruction.In real life, that means that you are basically doing nothing while making yourself available should your employer call.Shining your brass? I would think that the brass you refer to is really aluminum, because the mockery YOU have made of MCSO is unbelievable.

Former Republican
Former Republican

Joel,How about your continuous "untruths" which you voluntarily provided regarding the SCA and its' donors?You, not the readers, went to great lengths to explain that the whole SCA was about enhancing the image of law enforcement...when clearly, after the AG's report was published...was a lie.You also indicated no one else was involved. Ask Steve Ellman, whose comment that he felt coerced into giving, about that one.Your credibility here is ZERO and I think the time has come for you to be fired. I cannot imagine that you could continue in the role as a law enforcement officer when you've conducted yourself in such a fashion.And your letter of claim? You may want to amend that to read $5.00 because that's what it's worth.

Joel
Joel

Chad, your broad generalizations are unfair and much more characteristic of what you say you stand against. I've never treated anyone with contempt or bigotry, even though I've received it substantially. I also don't hide who I am and if you knew me, you'd know that.

The point of this article is to ridicule and make fun of individuals who appear to you to be like the objects of your blind hatred, not because of the color of their skin, but because of the color of their uniform.

To pretend otherwise is just lying to yourself.

Circecraft
Circecraft

"Outing" them removes the possibility that someone in power could blackmail them with the information. Once this secret is out, they have more freedom to tell the truth in other areas. We may be surprised to find out that this info has been known & used against at least one of them for some time.

DL
DL

IMHO, this exchange of emails go to show, and the evidence appears to point to their integrity easily being manipulated by a supervisor/subordinate relationship. One way I perceive their exchange is that there would be a high probability that one would lie to protect the other... this kind of "I'll do anything because I love you more than Anyone"... type of thinking can lead to murder all the way down to failing to reveal a relationship that is prohibited by personal manual guidelines,,, so I don't doubt either would not cover for the other. I have no problem with them blowing their brains out but than I have an affinity for some Japanese concepts of honor. I know if I lied to myself and the publiic so long, it would be more honorable than doing nothing. Though I think dedicating their lives to doing what little they could possibly do to somehow repay all those they have injured/harmed in anyway. Halfway measures don't cut it with me, because they would more prone to recidvism. If you decide to become a public servant you extend the number of people you are resposible to and can harm, even in the slightest manner. I have been in court twice because the atf police reports were complete lies. Fortunately I planned on such possibilities, consulted a lawyer, lost four days of pay going to court and the prosecuter laughing and stating how unlikely and rediculous the story the atf gave was and another time when the same atf agents came back to my business and ticketed me for completely legal behavior ignoring the two men smoking crack and drinking forties across the street, I pointed out to them but they said they didn't care about them, which this kind of behavior report numerous times by me for years and me busted for drinking in public which I wasn't, I was withen the legal range for drinking a beer just outside the door of my business, which is completely legal and their report stated witnesses stated I was in the middle of the street, which the witnesses howed up in court and stated the ATF agents were lying. It scares the hell out of me that I could end up in tent city because those employed and paid to protect us ignore their oaths and responsibilities to get ahead or assuage their egos and could ruin my life when I am working hard and as many or more hours than police officers to contribute to society in a positive manner.

XSoldier
XSoldier

That points at his heart.

XSoldier
XSoldier

Joel doesn't understand that police are quasi-military. He wouldn't know how to stand at attention unless he went to boot camp like I did when I was in the Army.

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

Tommy, indeed you do Brother, was it the last 2 words that gave me away? This punk comes here to pretend he's some kind of innocent choir boy, we all know the truth, these punks have destroyed centuries of people's trust, not only for their department but for every other department in Arizona. I guess somebody forgot to tell these punks the "To protect and serve" is meant for the people, not for themselves.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

["The point of this article is to ridicule and make fun of individuals who appear to you to be like the objects of your blind hatred, not because of the color of their skin, but because of the color of their uniform."]

Joel, this statement doesn't make even a microcosm of sense or logic. What does the color of their uniform have to do with any of this? (Please don't attempt an answer, Joel, I already have a headache from trying to make sense of your gibberish)

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

USWV.... I think I detect some emotion in your reply to Joel...

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Joel,

I speak of MCSO collectively and not individually. When you met Coz, Tommy, and I for dinner to explain SCA, I told you that I wouldn't want to be the lawyer defending your story. It requires too many humongous leaps of faith to be even marginally credible. In spite of that, I've gone on record on this blog saying I thought you were a decent guy and at least man enough to say what you say publicly and not hide behind a screen name.

To the extent that the corruption that we know has existed at MCSO has existed, the only person there I really have any true respect for is Frank Munnell - and that's only to the extent that his motivations were pure and not solely to provide further cover for Arpaio.

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, THE MCSO OF THE LAST 20 YEARS WILL GO DOWN AS PERHAPS THE MOST CORRUPT GOVERNMENT AGENCY OF OUR LIFETIMES.

Chad

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

"I've never treated anyone with contempt or bigotry"

It doesn't matter if you yourself doi it or not, MCSO is full of assholes that do it on a daily basis, YOU ALLOW IT by not standing up and stopping it, so you are just as guilty by association, you are a coward. all of you so called "Maricopa County Sheriffs", you're nothing but a posse of punks. FUCK YOU!

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