Deborah Braillard Settlement, for MCSO Jail Death, Rejected by Board of Supervisors

Categories: Arpaio
Deborah Braillard
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors rejected the $3.25 million settlement for the family of diabetic Deborah Braillard, who died in 2005 after not getting medical treatment in MCSO jail.

ABC 15, which has been closely tracking the Braillard case, reports that the vote ended in a tie after Supervisor Don Stapley recused himself, which means the case will go back to trial.

See also:
-Joe Arpaio's Victim Deborah Braillard: Family Agrees to $3.2 Million Settlement
-Joe Arpaio's Victim Deborah Braillard: Seven Figure Settlement in Wrongful Death Lawsuit
-What's Mom Worth?: When a Woman Became Deathly Ill in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jail, Guards and Nurses Ignored Her Agony

Braillard was arrested by deputies in early January, 2005, after the car she was in broke down, and drugs were found in her purse.

Over the next few days, Braillard started to show symptoms of illness, which officers assumed had to do with drug withdrawal. They were wrong, as the medical examiner said Braillard had no drugs in her system, and she died from problems related to her diabetes -- Michael Lacey's 2010 cover story with the details can be found here. Also see this week's cover story by Lacey on the Melendres v. Arpaio lawsuit trial, during which Arpaio's lies were on display.  

The trial already had been going on when the settlement was reached, but the case will have to go back to court since it was rejected.

Although the dollar amount would be in a jury's hands now, the bucks work differently in that case, as Stephen Lemons explained upon hearing the news of the settlement:

Another reason the county settled: In this case, the jury could have awarded punitive damages against individual defendants, including Arpaio himself.

If Arpaio personally faced bankruptcy for the systemic, criminal problems in his jails, much less for any of his other misdeeds in office, you can be certain his reign of error would quickly be corrected.

Alas, such is not the case. County taxpayers foot the bill, or rather the cost of the insurance that will cover it. The deductible for that insurance is now $5 million, up from $1 million, and you know part of the reason why.



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I have a theory about this, although I doubt we'll ever know if I'm on the right track.


Both Wilson and Kunasek had said that they were going to vote in favor of the settlement previously.  Something happened in the past couple of weeks to change their minds.


I believe that they were the recipients of some - ah - shall we say - "enlightenment" from the GOP party leaders that a vote for this settlement would reflect poorly on Arpaio just ahead of the election, and that it would be in Kunasek's and Wilson's best political future interests to reject the settlement which would suggest that the MCSO Tin Star Shurf might have some culpability.


Now, on the other hand, perhaps we should applaud Kunasek and Wilson - maybe - ??  If I read the above information correctly, by returning this to the courts and a jury, punative damages could come into play, and perhaps Arpaio might be held personally liable, costing him a significant amount of money - OUT OF POCKET. 


Ah, our local politics are RICH.  I tell ya, they are RICH!   



On a side note, I saw this video this morning.  The only thing that would make it more true is to substitute Carmona and Flake for Obama and Romney.



This decision represents foolish pandering and fiscal irresponsibility.  By the time this case comes to trial again in several months, we will have spent at least another $500,000, bringing our total legal expenses to $2.7 million or more, plus other fees and costs. 


Then we roll the dice. On one side a diabetic mother. On the other, depraved indifference, gross incompetence, destroyed and faked evidence. The jury comes back and what will it be? Only a million? $5 million? $30 million? If it’s $30 million, the County can expect to get its insurance cancelled – even with its current $5 million deductible per occurrence and no defense. 


Would any fiscally responsible person take such a gamble? With our money? 


And what will happen in the future?  This jackpot will stiffen other plaintiffs and generate many more claims.   With risk management’s credibility damaged, settlements will be harder to come by and more expensive.  $30 million will become the starting point.  


We all will pay for this decision into the far future.  It was a really, really bad business decision.  


Wilson is essentially unopposed, but Kunsaek is in big trouble.  Maybe that explains the pandering.  Vote for ALVAREZ to replace him.  


Plenty of people have been denied their Rx, their1 phone call, had their body cavities searched by the opposite sex and on and on and on. Of course it is appalling but I truly thought it was nationwide, is it not? And changing a figurehead at the top does not change the culture at the bottom. Jus saying . . .

Dontbelieveit topcommenter

The politics being played here in Sandland ........never cease to amaze me ......Incredible ...........but true! He who has the gold seems to rule still.................... GOD I hope he's voted out !


I am so glad that I had not completed my mail-in ballot before hearing this.  I live in Kunasek's district.  While I've wavered on him for a while, I was happy to hear him speak out saying that he was dissapointed that the DOJ failed to charge Arpaio.  I almost voted for him.  Then I found out this morning, as I was marking my ballot, that Kunasek voted AGAINST this settlement.  That was enough for me.


Maricopa County has already spent MORE THAN 2 MILLION DOLLARS on this litigation.  Now they are going to take it to trial???  In a clear case of a woman who died because she did not get insulin because MCSO Detention Officers decided they wanted to play doctor and decided that her illness was due to "withdrawal"?


PEOPLE - THINK!!  More than $2 million ALREADY spent and it isn't even in trial yet!  How will the MCSO defend allowing a woman to die from a lack of an insulin injection because MCSO Detention Officers decided to play doctor?  They decided that her problem was probably drug-related...  WRONG!!


Wilson and Kunasek, you were the two Supes that I thought MIGHT have a clue.  You lost me on this one.  Mailed my ballot this afternoon, and Andy K, you're not my candidate of choice.


Thanks a lot Joe for fucking Maricopa County taxpayers out of even more cash.


I wonder just how much this is going to cost? The numbers are enough to make my stomach turn at this point.



 While I agree that this decision begs incompetence and fiscal irresponsibility, I wonder why you chose to ignore that Mary Rose Wilcox was one of three who voted against this settlement.


Can you explain?


 @sarumYou must be new here.  That hardly encompasses the issues.




 Why does Mary Rose WIlcox escape scrutiny from you?


She should have recused herself, as Stapley did.


 @wherewasi Geez. "Where" the hell were you all this time? Are you serious? Your head was buried in the hot sand all this time? Indeed, you are SO clueless. I even suspect you voted for Maria Rosa Buttock's re-election to her current post. Voters like you are the reason why this county is fucked up.


VOTE ALL OF THEM OUT damn-it. Maria Rosa Buttocks included.


 @yourproductsucks  No, YPS, you are incorrect.  It was a tie.  Two supervisors, Mary Rose Wilcox and Fulton Brock, voted in favor of the settlement.  Two supervisors, Andy Kunasek and Max Wilson, voted against it.  Don Stapley recused himself.



 @wherewasi Maybe . . . .  Regardless my point remains that I see horror reports from LEO/Sheriff depts nationwide so the culture employment is diseased and I think that my question remains valid. Changing the figurehead at the top does exactly how much to change the culture?  


I have watched inmates have to roll on the ground & scream to get life-saving surgery.  Underpaid employees working with inmates get angry about medical/dental that inmates get and they cannot afford - or just the idea that not being a criminal does not afford one any extra than what inmates get - helps to perpetrate the negative culture amongst those who work with inmates.  Doesn't anybody remember the commercials advertising to work as DCO for a whopping $6 an hour?


Although I am still PO'd about inmates being worked in places like MVD and all the crimes they were able to perpetrate on innocent civilians - never mind the employees who became displaced from such efforts.  At one time I knew of government employees who could not do anything with the education they had purchased with student loans because suddenly those jobs were given to inmates - so they could learn on the job a skill that would prevent recidivism.  These types of decisions sound good to tea party types that want to save $ but just create further hatred of inmates and idiots making policy from afar with no consideration of the consequences to others.


So yes, I could "spam" this page with links to news of other sheriff departments inflicting harm - it is not just our local issues - there are nationwide common issues.  Local problems with Joe - I still find fault with all parties honestly.  It has been an overwhelming amount of info to stay on top of and I suspect most simply cannot stay abreast of all of it, me included.   Although there is much to be said about having the integrity and grace to know when it is time to retire.  Really think about it, for the average employee nothing changes when top management changes.  So yes when Joe is gone he won't be getting into it with other local VIP's but nothing will change for the rest of us idt.


 @yourproductsucks That's a bizarre question and an odd statement.  Number one, I know you're asking it because you are incorrect about the vote count.  As you posted to Bobunf that Wilcox was one of 3 who voted against it, you apparently didn't read the story too closely.  It was a tie - two supervisors, Mary Rose Wilcox and Fulton Brock, voted in favor of the settlement.  Two supervisors, Andy Kunasek and Max Wilson, voted against it.  Don Stapley recused himself.


Why does Wilcox "escape scrutiny from me" - ?  Well, she doesn't.  It's no secret I have no love for her.  In fact, one of the things that had me on the fence about Kunasek is that he had said he would not vote in favor of her $975,000 settlement and I appreciated that.  However, I am not in her district, so I can't vote for her or Harper, so it was beyond the scope of my post, which was to say that Kunasek's vote against this settlement finalized my decision for my vote.  I think Wilcox needs to go.  Unfortunately, her constituents like her and Harper will be hard put to unseat her.


As far as recusing goes, Stapley is an exiting Supervisor who is not running for re-election, and he has a claim against the County that is still outstanding.  It would clearly be a conflict for him to vote on this matter as it could be seen as him trying to win the favor of other supervisors who voted in a like manner in hopes of them favoring him in HIS settlement.


The same is not true of Mary Rose Wilcox.  She IS running for re-election and she has already gotten her settlement.  In this case, she is an incumbent who made the right vote.  Why do you suggest she should have recused herself?



 @MaskedMagician1967I'm not surprised at all.  See my response to YPS below for the explanation.  He had everything to gain and nothing to lose by recusing himself.



 @LoneWolfI'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you are not the same person that has been "Lone Wolf" on the message boards for a few years now.  You sound more like that Village Idiot, JoeArpaioFan.  (If that IS you, Wolfy, take a nap.  You woke up grumpy!)


First of all, you suggest that I can vote for Kunasek AND Wilcox, and then tell me that I'm the one that is clueless?  Yuk it up.  Ha.  That's a good one.


Second of all, if more voters were like me, this county, state and country would be a better place.  Unlike the morons who just vote for an R or a D, or "vote them all out" (as you suggest)  or "vote them all back in" , I actually take the time to research the issues, the candidates and I understand why I am voting for - or not voting for - any particular candidate or proposition, and I don't vote a party line and I don't get spoon-fed bullshit from Party "Leaders".


Thirdly, and finally, yes, I agree - Wilcox should be voted out too.  However, I'm not in her district, so I can't vote for Harper.  Kunasek didn't get my vote at the end of the day, so you can feel happy about that, but I don't think that Kunasek is all that bad.  He just made some decisions I disagree with and this was one of them.




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