Arizona AG's Investigation Into MCSO: What do $10,000, Gambling Debts, Pink Undie Funds, and an Abandoned Mine Shaft Have in Common? Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott
|Documents about the sale of pink underwear will fit into an abandoned mine shaft. Dave Hendershott, on the other hand...|
According to the report, Ben Armstrong, a former MCSO employee, told retired Mesa police Lieutenant Mike Galloway -- who was working as a private investigator at the time -- in a recorded 2004 interview that he believes he was canned by the Sheriff's Office because of the amount of dirt he had on Hendershott.
Hendershott and Armstrong each had a son on a traveling youth baseball team, which apparently benefited quite a bit from the bank accounts of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's posse.
According to Armstrong, Hendershott withdrew about $10,000 -- from three different banks -- that he used to sponsor his and Armstrong's sons' baseball team to play in a tournament in California.
However, Armstrong claims, Hendershott had arranged for the donation of a free van service from Courtesy Chevrolet to take the team to the tournament, arranged for the team to stay at a National Guard Armory in California during the tournament, and had an MCSO truck -- filled with food from the MCSO inmate commissary -- to drive to the location of the California
tournament so the kids could eat.
As Armstrong notes in his interview with Galloway, he didn't know on what Hendershott had spent the $10,000, but he implied that it didn't seem as though it was spent on the team.
With Hendershott allegedly having most of the team's trip comped, where could $10,000 of Joe's posse money possibly have been spent? How about a cruise for Hendershott and his family.
Following the tournament, as the rest of the team went back to Arizona, Armstrong says Hendershott took his family to San Diego for a cruise along the California coast.
Apparently, $10,000 wasn't going to cover the bill -- according to Armstrong, at one stop on the cruise, Hendershott wasn't allowed to de-board the ship because he ran up a huge gambling debt he couldn't afford to pay.
According to Armstrong, Hendershott has a bit of a gambling problem, the report states.
You'd think someone in that type of situation might be in a little trouble. For Hendershott: no sweat.
According to Armstrong, Hendershott called one of Arpaio's posse members, Tom Wymus, who drove a "large sum of cash" to California to deposit with the cruise ship so the chief deputy would be allowed to leave. They didn't simply wire the money to the cruise company because they feared it would leave a paper trail, Armstrong alleges.
The money used to bail Hendershott off the cruise ship allegedly came from funds derived from the sale of the hottest fashion trend in all of Tent City: pink underwear. Which was money in intended to be used for the MCSO's Youth Assistance Foundation.
Hiding records of money intended to be spent on kids is no easy task -- unless you've got a pal with access to abandoned mine shafts.
According to Armstrong, Hendershott kept two sets of records for the sale of the pink underwear: One was turned over to then-Governor Janet Napolitano's office, the other was given to then-Arizona state Mine Inspector Doug Martin, a posse member, with whom Arpaio and Hendershott had become friends through their political affiliations.
Armstrong told Galloway that Martin said Hendershott had called him to Hendy's office and asked that he dispose of records that would show inaccurate accounting for the sales of the underwear. Rather than just torching the documents, Martin, Armstrong claims, hid them in an abandoned mine shaft.
This tale of alleged corruption is just the tip of a very large iceberg. Stay tuned for more.