Sheriff Arpaio Won't Investigate Deputy Chief Paul Chagolla for Alleged Threat to Reporter

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Paul Chagolla allegedly threatened to arrest an Arizona Republic reporter and have her baby put in CPS custody for no valid reason -- but Sheriff Arpaio doesn't want to investigate.

Usually, Arpaio loves a good probe.

The list of questionable investigations the five-term sheriff has launched against his political foes includes county Supervisors, judges, bureaucrats, lawyers, journalists and political activists. (See "Enemies List,", "Joe Knew," for starters.)

But he won't investigate his deputy chief's alleged threat against a reporter and her young child.

As we reported back in May, an internal investigation of corruption in Arpaio's command staff detailed Arizona Republic reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez's complaint about  disgraced former Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott and one of his sidekicks, Deputy Chief Paul Chagolla.

The findings of the internal investigation spurred Arpaio to fire Hendershott in May for a slew of bad behavior and potential crimes. Deputy Chief Larry Black was also fired. Arpaio later allowed both men to resign before their termination dates.

Chagolla, despite being described by Allen to investigators as "clearly under the thumb and influence of ... Hendershott," continues to serve as one of Arpaio's top men.

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Yvonne Wingett Sanchez

The saga of the alleged threat is one of the many interesting side-stories to come out of the months-long investigation of the sheriff's office. But it's an important one, in part because it helps explain the current mindset of Arpaio, whose role in the scandals of his command staff was whitewashed by the investigation, conducted by his political ally, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

In a nutshell, Wingett Sanchez says she was told by Hendershott and Chagolla that she would be arrested for not cooperating with them in an investigation of county officials. Most disturbingly, she says she was told several times that her baby would be taken away by Child Protective Services.

Yet Wingett Sanchez had committed no crime. Even MCSO's communications director, Lisa Allen, told the Babeu-report investigators that it appeared the lawmen were targeting her without good cause.

What had Wingett Sanchez done? Her job. Told by Hendershott that county officials were under investigation for allegedly wasting taxpayer money to sweep for listening devices, Wingett Sanchez called the county for comment for an article she would later write.

In Hendershott's twisted world, that constituted a possible crime of aiding the officials. From our earlier article:


...Wingett complained to Lisa Allen that he and Chagolla repeatedly had threatened to arrest her over the incident.

"Next week, Yvonne, you're going to be arrested ... and your child is going to end up with Child Protective Services," they said, Wingett Sanchez told Allen, adding that she could barely speak about it without getting "emotional."

The threats to Wingett Sanchez came in person and, at least once, by telephone, Allen reported.


We asked Arpaio in May whether he intended to investigate Chagolla for the alleged threat. He wouldn't answer the question, saying cryptically that "it's not over," in a seeming reference to the shake-up of his command staff over the sustained allegations of unethical behavior uncovered by the internal investigation.

At the time, we took that to mean he was considering an investigation of what is obviously a serious allegation.

We decided to check back on this one, and it turns out that Arpaio is letting Chagolla skate without an investigation.

MCSO spokesman Sergeant Jesse Spurgin, in response to our request for info yesterday about Chagolla, replied:


An investigation was not conducted on Chief Chagolla for this alleged incident. I was told that Yvonne Wingett was approached by Sheriff's investigators and chose not to speak with them, therefore no further action was taken.


Wingett Sanchez's decision not to talk is not really an excuse for failing to perform an investigation, however.

When former East Valley Tribune reporter Ryan Gabrielson declined to cooperate with an investigation of a deputy for alleged racial profiling, Arpaio's office went ahead anyway. It wasn't a good investigation, but it was an investigation.

Chagolla, meanwhile, is still around to help Arpaio conduct the serious business of the sheriff's office -- like request an investigation into whether a County Supervisor improperly used government resources to fill a flat tire with air.

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64 comments
David Saint
David Saint

nice article in the AP today about Arpaio and the many negligent child investigations..or lack there of. Finally the national media is catching on!!! 

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Huffington Post ran a story today on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department's mishandling of sex-crime cases in El Mirage. Is anyone out there in cyber-land familiar with that?

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

Why don't I see THIS story on NT?

Critics: ‘Tough’ sheriff botched sex-crime cases" Both cases were among more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office during a three-year period ending in 2007 — including dozens of alleged child molestations — that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.

In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio’s office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 years old — where the sheriff’s office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.

Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants."

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/w...

Come on guys, don't let the friggin' SALT LAKE TRIBUNE scoop you! This is a pretty interesting read...

WhoKnows 11 minutes ago in reply to Mikey1969

"Actually the El Mirage thing is about a year old. It was reported on by the NT back when it came out. It's just taken the national news this long to catch up."

Yeah, and when I pointed out the misspent money, the ignored pile of warrants and the $40 million + in settlements, somone from here in Salt Lake told me that all I was doing is spreading lies, but didn't bother to actually POST any evidence of such. God, I can't believe how many morons out there fall for nothing more than a soundbite. At least now we know how douchbags like Bush got elected.

teknik1200
teknik1200

why is he not in jail?

The GOP run this country like  hard line extremists.     They have more in common with the mentality of someplace like iran.  

Coz
Coz

Just another normal day for Bozo Joe and his goons.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

I'd like to see the performance evaluation the self-proclaimed America's toughest sheriff gives to his command  staff - for "Abuse of power against constituents," his boys would all earn "exceeds expectations" marks.

Guest
Guest

Ah, "Chicken Shit Chagolla". Way to make us proud, you DOUCHEBAG.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

You'd have to investgate every cop in every department for making threats to people.   It's what they do...they lie and threaten you to get what they want.   Honest cops will tell you off the record that you should never talk with a cop about anything.     They'll promise you anything and threaten you with arrest if you don't do what they want you to do.   It happens everyday in every city in the country.   It's only because she's a reporter and it involves a corrupt department that this is getting any news.     I don't see their paper writing about all the other people in this county who get lied to and threatened by the cops.   She has a venue to speak from and it's fortunate for her to be able to do so.   We have nothing.

derfelcadarnapaelle
derfelcadarnapaelle

Arpaio is a criminal @$$ho!e he should be prosecuted for malefeasence and breach of oath. How this wannabe dictator got elected is a shame on Arizonians. His highhanded tactics smack Arizonians in the face and that should not be acceptable,get rid of this lowlife while there is still some freedom left in your county.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Maricopa County's premier Organized Crime Family strikes again. This entire agency needs to be shut down until EVERY employee is psychologically evaluated to determine if they are stable enough, and ethical enough to wield the authority they possess.

     That question has already been answered regarding the "Command Staff" and since their abusive and criminal behavior has had almost 20 years to "trickle down" through the ranks, I would be willing to bet that far too many MCSO staff are nothing more than bullies with badges and Glocks.

Nweng
Nweng

Seriously, how is this any surprise?  When has the Clown in Brown ever taken responsibility for either his, or actions of his staff?  He's a man who finds it easier to have the tax payers of Maricopa county pay for a lawsuit settlement rather than saying a simple "I'm sorry."

Wanumba
Wanumba

Arpaio is a dried up old pig.  Haul his ass out of power and you will see all kinds of ugly things coming out of his closet.

Vestevan
Vestevan

It's unbelievable that Wingett Sanchez did not speak out when given the opportunity.

Not Surprised
Not Surprised

And what about Chagolla's behavior with the investigators from the state's AG office?  He was pretty threatening and unprofessional in his behavior with them!

Jason
Jason

Of course Chagolla threatened Wingett-Sanchez.

Of course the Flaccid Fool won't investigate.

Chagolla is a disgrace to dedicated police officers everywhere. He deserves a swift and immediate booting from MCSO.

Hopefully, the feds hand up those indictments against the Flaccid Fool & Co. It's time for  change over at MCSO.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Is America's self-styled toughest sheriff afraid to go after Chagolla because he'll snitch him off?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Seems to me the favoritism among the command staff hasn't stopped with the firings of Black, Hendershott, and Fox.

I don't suppose anyone on the command staff has the intestinal fortitude to tell the ancient shurf that Chagoya might have committed a crime, eh?

butterflyboy
butterflyboy

Deputy Chief Paul Chagoll: just another of Greaseball's sociopathic pussyboys with a badge. Be fun to watch these little fucking cowards parachuted into tent city unarmed and unprotected to fend for themselves.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Actually the El Mirage thing is about a year old.  It was reported on by the NT back when it came out.  It's just taken the national news this long to catch up.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I Saw that on Yahoo as well. The comments there were driving me nuts. Too many calling Sheriff Joke a hero for my liking.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

yup Iran, North Korea, Iraq(now and under Saddam) ya know MC is a part of the Axis of Evil.

Rollem45
Rollem45

Yep you are right. The Supreme Court ruled long ago the cops can lie during an investigation when they are investigating and ACTUAL crime. Don't think you can threaten a news reporter for asking questions...um I know you can't threaten news reporters, or paper owners, or county supervisors or every one that argues with Arpiehole

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

fine arrest me. It's not like I haven't been arrested before. Once I deserved it, however I am not scared of going to jail.

Anon
Anon

as well as the MCAO who has been joined at the hip with the sheriff. Many in the department have been there for years churning out questionable convictions. See the Arizona Supreme Court website Disciplinary hearings of ex-County Attorney Andrew Thomas/Lisa Aubuchon, his chief "charging" prosecutor/Rachel Aubuchon, personal blogging queen for Thomas collecting a DCA paycheck -- paid for by the taxpayers!! 

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

and tazers you forgot about those, but I agree. While I am not going to single out any one MCSO officer, because some of them are ok and not like the rest, I have a feeling that  most of them would fall into that category you described.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

because if he says he's sorry it will make all his critics right, and he can't have that.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

and eh will be spending the rest of his life (which probably will be short) in the jail with his thugs. Wonder if they would give him a beat down?

Jason
Jason

If that's true, Chagolla would've been canned by now. Remember, he blamed the MCSO shurf for a lot of BS when the Munnell Memo went to the Bald Bunion of Pinal County for investigation, which led to the bootings of Black, Fox, and Hendy.

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

The web of lies and deceit.  Here's what you do about the grandmaster spider Arpiao...you touch the web to draw the spider out, then you light a fire under it's spider behind.  Personally I believe that Arpiao's web of deceit is so complex and full of trapdoors that the only way he will be able to leave office with any amount of dignity will be feet first.  Otherwise when the good Lt Stauffer takes office in early 2013 Joey, Ava and the whole Arpiao web is going to implode and burst into flames.  A shit tsunami rolling in on MCSO!

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Seems the least Arpaio could do would be have the Cold Case Posse check out Chagolla's birth certificate and make sure it is not forged.  I heard a rumor that Chagolla is one of the brown skinned folks.

Bnbk
Bnbk

I think you just hit the nail smack on the head Mike!

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Nothing will change until the leader is changed.  Hendershott, Black, and Fox were canned because they became political liabilities to the Sheriff.  Until they were of such status, their corrupt, unethical, and illegals acts were sanctioned, protected, and rewarded by the Sheriff.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

Why would it stop, Tommy?  Until they are all gone they are all in cahoots with the Sheriff....that is why they are his Command Staff....they are put in place to kiss his nasty ass.

The best part about this is that now in Arizona Commanders and above can be held accountable for what they do. 

Rob
Rob

I pray that the voters of Maricopa County have the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing next November.

Those prayers have fallen on deaf ears the last 16 years though.

Not Surprised
Not Surprised

It was surprising to me that Chagolla, and a few others, didn't get exposed and go out with Hendershott, Black and Fox.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

lol I think they should lock them all in a cell with some "Mexicans" If I knew sheriff Joke was gonna be in jail, I might get myself arrested just so I could get locked in that cell. It would be fun to spectate.

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

They don't know about him firing his top 3 thugs for corrruption. peace

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Then it's just another good example of the shurf's bad management.

Anon
Anon

Follower_of_the_ONE, Best comment yet!

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Please don't make me laugh when I'm drinking hot coffee...

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

yes, but that doesn't solve the problem, the lead thug is still there, maybe national attention will get sheriff joke out of office sooner rather than later?

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