Arpaio Tries to Change His Story on Don Stapley's 2009 Arrest; Now Claims He Didn't Order Arrest, But in 2009, He Said He Did

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Photo Illustration: New Times
Sheriff Joe Arpaio told the Arizona Republic in 2009 that he made the decision to arrest Don Stapley. Now, after Gila County Daisy Flores called the arrest was "vindictive," he claims he didn't.

Trying to deflect the blame for the decisions he made isn't working out so well for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Our cover story this week, Joe Knew, describes how documents and his own current and former staff members put Arpaio squarely in the loop. His retired chief financial officer says she told him he was using a voter-approved jail fund illegally. And far from letting his former chief deputy handle all the grunt work in targeting Arpaio's political enemies for criminal investigations, records show that Arpaio took a hands-on approach.

Witnesses say he attended many key meetings of his Maricopa Anti-Corruption Enforcement team, reviewed at least one search warrant personally, contemplated evidence in cases, and determined whether or not he had probable cause for the arrest of Don Stapley.

Yet now, as evidence mounts that he -- and not just his underlings -- broke the law, Arpaio's changing his story on a prime example of his unethical behavior.

Arpaio's spokeswoman tells New Times that Arpaio now denies that he ordered the September 21, 2009, arrest of County Supervisor Don Stapley.

The issue came up last week after Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores announced that she was declining to prosecute Stapley on allegations of fraud that stemmed from one of Arpaio's MACE investigations. Flores mentions in her 47-page letter to county officials on the issue that the behavior by the MCSO was too unethical to move forward with prosecuting Stapley, even though she felt he was guilty of fraud and financial dishonesty.

New Times covered Stapley's legal woes in our November 26, 2009, feature article, Serving Up Stapley, which explains how Stapley's sins -- troubling as they are themselves -- are nothing compared to the abuse of power by so-called law officers.

Flores' letter states, "The arrest of Stapley on September 21, 2009, against conflict counsel's advice and three days after (Stapley's first criminal case) was dismissed shows vindictive intent by MCSO."

Flores then wrote "(Hendershott)" after that sentence.

However, Arpaio told the Arizona Republic in 2009 that he ordered the arrest:

 

Arpaio said detectives began investigating the most recent allegations in January and completed the investigation Sept. 11. Top investigators in the Sheriff's Office reviewed the case last week.

 

Arpaio said he made the decision to make an arrest late in the week, but Stapley was out of town.


Sounds like Arpaio knows what he's talking about, right? And no scapegoating his former chief deputy, Hendershott. Just a sheriff taking full and complete responsibility for his own order.

Not anymore. Arpaio's in full blame mode as his castle walls crumble.

Our blog post about Flores' decision mentioned in parantheses that when Flores talks about "egregious" behavior, she's referring to Arpaio and others. That sentence prompted a frantic phone call from Arpaio's spokeswoman, Lisa Allen, who told us that Flores' letter didn't say a word about Arpaio's behavior being egregious. We took another look, confessed that she was right, and removed the offending paranthetical insertion from the sentence.

But we didn't drop the argument, telling Allen that Flores' letter slams the bad ethics involved in Stapley's arrest -- and that Arpaio ordered that arrest.

Allen protested: "Our recollection is Hendershott ordered the arrest. He ran down the hall and said 'We're in the process of arresting Don Stapley.'"

When we told Allen about Arpaio's statement to the Repub in 2009, she was surprised and asked us to forward her a link.

"Arpaio doesn't remember telling anybody that he ever ordered the arrest of Don Stapley," she said.

That's quite a flip-flop from his position in 2009, obviously. Needless to say, the sheriff never requested a correction from the Republic in 2009 or -- until now -- expressed doubt that the statement attributed to him was inaccurate.

Allen said she'd get back to us after examining the newspaper article. She never did. But we did get ahold of Flores this week.

The Gila County Attorney tells us that she wasn't aware of any statements by Arpaio that he ordered Stapley's arrest.

"Whoever ordered the arrest, it was egregious," she says.

She's right about that.



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71 comments
Alialibubu
Alialibubu

If someone works for DES or SSI or DAV or MVD just ask yourself what happend to all those old computers vs the ones Sherrif Joe installed late 2005-06 wherein all of sudden voter id where cancelled, redflags sent to SSI then to MVD on elderly minority DAV widowers forcing them to prove the Social Security card issued was actually issued to them.  All the DAV Redflags for continued service because MVD flagged you as a unpaid parking ticket. No vote for you just proof of "service" All the DES Redflags for contined aid, medicare at your local County Medical Facilities. You no pay ticket! No care for you! No vote for you. All the caged, now provisionalized ballot voters at the ballot box.  All the MVD challenges in the last names "Gonzales" with a "Z" and not a "S" we want proof at the voter box! Sure you were born in South Phoenix Section 1070 BABY! We want proof of citizenship and or naturalization.  We want your Long Form "Obama" brown skin, brown eyes birth certificates. OOPs you are suppose to cast yourballot across the street.  If you work for these agencies  what happened to the Hendershot MVD computers connected to the DES computers, Social Security Department connected to those MVD computers.  Archiver won't lie!

Jason
Jason

BTW, did anyone see in today's East Valley Tribune? It looks like Citizens for a Better Arizona collected the signatures needed for a recall of Pearce and submitted them to SOS Ken Bennett, himself a one time Senate President.....

Joe
Joe

Allen protested: "Our recollection is Hendershott ordered the arrest. He ran down the hall and said 'We're in the process of arresting Don Stapley.'" Let's look at this statement.  "Hendershott RAN down the hall...."  Besides being fat, didn't he have a knee problem?

psychbob498th
psychbob498th

I can loan them my .357 if they need it. I keep sucking on the barrel.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

So why would he have to deny ordering his (Stapley's) arrest if he hadn't done anything illegal?

Mistalee
Mistalee

Doesn't matter, he could shit his pants publicly, while raping a cub scout. and his hallelujah chorus of immigrant-haters would still support him. 

Tina
Tina

Wasn't it this Monday morning 9/21/09 arrest of Stapley in the county's parking garage, with all the sheriff's prepared "lights, camera, action" -- and occurring only three days after the initial multiple charges against Stapley were dismissed -- that was then followed by the revelation that there had been NO consultation beforehand with ANY prosecutor to represent the State for Stapley's initial court appearance pertaining to the  new charges against him? 

If I remember correctly, the perpetrators of the Stapley "perp walk" then spent the next several hours scrambling trying to get SOMEBODY to follow through with that pesky legal procedural requirement.   That production was all about vindictive and destructive show business for the county's viewing audiences.  

Of course that number was ordered by Arpaio,  our sadistic sheriff, the misuser of law enforcement power who's got people all over the country conned.    Gerry summarizes his mentality well.   

    

Marcy
Marcy

How can you tell that Joe Arpaio is lying?

Lisa Allen's lips are moving

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

I again suggest:

While Stapley and Wilcox, along with a few other people called "latino activists" in the paper have sent letters to Burke, it's time that Dennis Burke sees a bunch of letters from the every day folks asking him what the hell is going on! One paragraph, professional in wording, is all it takes. A letter has more impact than an email.

Dennis BurkeU.S. AttorneyTwo Renaissance Square40 N Central, Suite 1200Phoenix, AZ 85004-4408

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Lisa Allen, no matter what you think about her, is damn good at what she does.  For the better part of two decades she has created and sold the myth of America's Toughest Sheriff to the world.  Turning a washed up unaccountable, unaware, dishonest and grumpy old man into America's Toughest Sheriff is not a small feat.   I would hire her for PR in a heartbeat.  I don't like what she does, but she is damn good at it.

Her job is changing.  Image enhancement and building is less important now than image preservation and protection.  This may get the best of her.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Back a few years ago, I believe Arpaio was criticized for using the Jail money to purchase and retrieve any and all articles and TV news about "the Sheriff."  He defended his 'right' to use the Jail money in any way he saw fit.

On this particular issue concerning the arrest of Stapley:  Do you believe that he would be saying he had nothing to do with that arrest if Flores had lauded the quick and decisive action of MCSO in the arrest of Stapley?

Arpaio, try being honest?  or are your little pass the blame games from your nickel bag Joe days so deeply ingrained in your character that you can't be honest or take responsibility?

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Allen protested...  "Damn it Jim, I'm a dog groomer and not someone who should be trying to groom a clown!"

My FAVORITE Lisa Allen quote: "It shows that educated people don't vote for him (joe)"

Tina
Tina

Ray, how about correcting your first typo as to year this occurred.

"Arpaio's spokeswoman tells New Times that Arpaio now denies that he ordered the September 21, 2010, arrest of County Supervisor Don Stapley."

"Flores' letter states that, "The arrest of Stapley on September 21, 2009, against conflict counsel's advice and three days after (Stapley's first criminal case) was dismissed shows vindictive intent by MCSO." "

Anon
Anon

They all love illegal immigration as an inflammatory issue which they hoped would mask all the corruption in Maricopa County and Arizona. We're not fooled by these tactics diverting attention. 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Arpaio is getting like Reagan.  In testimony, Reagan claimed that "he didn't remember" something like 190 times.  Reagan then started to play with his Star Wars action figures...

Gerry-c
Gerry-c

He had pc to arrest stapley. Or so he told Poll I believe.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

I was telling someone just today about the funniest Joke dance I'd seen.  When Joke went after Tom Lovejoy for his police dog dying in a mistake, Joke went on the TV, with a wagging finger, and proclaimed "I ORDERED the arrest of Tom Lovejoy!!!!!!".

Then went Joke was to be deposed in the case, he stood at the same podium, with the same wagging finger, and proclaimed "I had NOTHING to do with the arrest of Tom Lovejoy!!"

Channel 12 did a repeating loop of the two statements.  Just shows that Arpaio is a complete idiot!

Gerry-c
Gerry-c

Even if he did not order the arrest, this shows that his chief deputy was acting on his orders. Otherwise he would not have reported back. Furthermore if the sheriff was against the arrest he could have easily stopped it at that time. With this statement by Lisa, it really doesn't matter which story he uses.

Joe
Joe

It is not based on truth, but on a damage control (image protection as Gerry says) calculation.  The numbers changed, so the truth has to change.  Right People?

Jason
Jason

Ahh, good point in bringing that up Tina. As I've stated before, I have so much shit on Joe & Co., as well as Thomas & Co., to light a fire under Burke's ass. All courtesy of none other than Lisa Aubuchon herself.

Rob
Rob

Heh.....that's good.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Thanks Marcy.  I needed a good smile before bedtime.

GC

Kcarson
Kcarson

You use the adjective "unaware" to describe Arpaio.

Isn't the point of the article that Arpaio was and is aware?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Gerry, if I recall correctly the Flaccid Fool of MCSO (FF) once told a reporter from New Yorker magazine something similar to, "I know how far I can go without crossing the line and getting caught". In that same article the FF was angry during a meeting to plan how to make it seem the undocumented aliens were bringing swine flu into Arizona. He said during that meeting, :"I'm not just some little shurf, you know"...

Actually, shurf, you are just ONE OF FIFTEEN county sheriffs in the state of Arizona. Yes, shurf, you are just a county sheriff. Nothing more. Certainly not an opponent to the president of the United States.

Lisa can do only so much... and regardless of what she has done as a public relations person, she cannot do the job that a professional public information officer would do. In that regard, the MCSO shurf is his own worst enemy. He doesn't need any more.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Yup, he was specifically caught using the jail funds to buy video tapes of his appearances on the TV, and claimed that he "showed them to inmates, as they would act as a an incentive for folks to stay out of jail"

Was that the same as when Joke had DOs paint the claws of pigeons pink at tent city, so they could see which pigeons were flying in contraband?

Mistalee
Mistalee

And then the universe made an honest man of Reagan, seeing to it that he really couldn't remember.

A fine example of why we should all be careful what we ask for. 

Jason
Jason

You know, Reagan was one of America's most beloved Presidents and the best speaker since President Lincoln in 1860.

The Ancient Asshole, on the other hand, is perhaps the most hated, corrupt, and drunk figure in recent memory......

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Sorry, I meant Polk.

Jason
Jason

Thanks for reminding me. Lisa Aubuchon told me personally that she worked in concert with the Flaccid Fool to order the arrest of Lovejoy......

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Let me get this straight.  Are you telling me that the Chief Law Enforcement Authority in Maricopa County, the steward of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and its quarter billion dollar budget has a problem with honesty?  Is that what you are saying in your post? 

Jason
Jason

If the Maricopa County Recorder's Office and, it appears, the Secretary of State's office determine that the signatures needed for the recall are valid, it goes to Governor Jan "Have Did" Brewer and she MUST, by state law, call an election within 15 days.

Bye bye, Pearce!!!!!! 

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Kcarson,

I appreciate your comment. 

Maybe I am wrong on this one, but I think the point of this article or post is that Arpaio has North-South changes in his stories when it suits the particular environment of the day for Arpaio.  Not little detail changes, but a directional change. 

On to the term "unaware," I believe that Arpaio has been aware of the corrupt practices in his agency and has blessed almost all of them.  I think it is funny and disgusting to hear him say "I was not aware of this..." and then challenge someone to put forth a piece of paper that proves he was aware. 

I used "unaware" to note that Arpaio was and is unaware of what the job of Sheriff actually entails.  His job description is to spend our money giving two speaches every day.

   

Mistalee
Mistalee

 And he really is little. I've seen the guy. He's a twerp.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Right you are Tommy.  Nickel-Bag Joe got too big for his britches.  The Toughest Sheriff in America is not built on a house of cards, but on a house of lies and greed for publicity.  Hendershott had/has a greed for power, gambling, and money.  Arpaio's greed has overlap with Hendershott's but it is different, seeking publicity and admiration.  In the end Arpaio's greed is just as  destructive, because to attain what he wanted, he had to create something that is is not and has never been. 

The people of that will support Arpaio are a zealous bunch.  Most have followed others into supporting Arpaio.  These followers can't think on their own two feet.  Once a few Arpaio supporters turn their back on the old coot, the followers will as well.  When the tide turns against Arpaio, it will be faster than I would ever have imagined.   

Kcarson
Kcarson

Yup, people love that he cut taxes once and then raised them 7-times.

The republicans love to tout Reagan principles, but current tax rates are lower than under Reagan, which means they must think Reagan was worse than Obama is today - if hypocrisy wasn't a factor, I do mean.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Do you think that Aubuchon and Thomas will subpoena the flaccid fool for the bar trial.  I know nothing is all that he will say.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

"I Know NOTHING!"  Sgt Schultz Arpaio!

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

To add to what I said above about people turning their back on Arpaio, consider Andrew Thomas.  I know he is not in the same league as Arpaio, but there are some similarities.

Thomas was elected as county attorney on illegal immigration and a tough on crime promise.  Thomas was re-elected as county attorney in 2008.  As this scandal grew, Thomas resigned and nearly was nominated to run for Atty General, which his Republican primary opponent won.  Fairly amazing support for someone that did as poor a job as County Attorney as Thomas did.  Just a few months later and you look at the blogs, the press, the interviews, etc.  Thomas is just a shell of what he was.  His support base that almost took him to Atty General has just about vanished.

Arpaio is in a different league of course because we county taxpayers have paid for the America's Toughest Sheriff myth.  Really this has been nothing but an exercise in creating a public figure that can raise money for a Sheriff's race from all parts of the globe on the county dime.  We will see support for Arpaio drop in Maricopa County first and when he lives in disgrace, there will be some in the far reaches of the U.S. and the world that will continue to worship him and send money to his legal defense fund while the support base has pushed back in disgust. 

You will know his support is gone when he goes out to push his endorsement on candidates. 

Jason
Jason

You make some good points. Usually I disagree with you.

I'm not too familiar with Reagan's economic policies, given that I was born in 1986. I merely read up on the Presidents when I have time.

Jason
Jason

Probably, although Judge O'Neil will more than likely bar it. Aubuchon told me that she subpoenaed Blimpie and the Flaccid Fool for her merit commission hearings. Neither responded......

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