Joe Arpaio Used Campaign Cash to Pay Himself Rent Money
|Joe Arpaio loves the first of the month.|
While we were adding up how much Arpaio's forked over to Summit (more than $1.5 million since January), we happened to notice that Arpaio effectively cut himself a rent check using campaign contributions.
-Joe Arpaio, Chad Willems, E.J. Montini and the $8 Million Whopper
-Sheriff Joe's Real Estate Game
On January 29, Arpaio's campaign made a $1,200 payment to Ava Investments LLC, which is noted as "monthly rental for campaign office" in Arpaio's campaign-finance forms.
That would be Ava Arpaio, who runs Ava Investments LLC, a company that lists the sheriff as a "manager" in filings with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Although the location of the campaign office hasn't changed from 10632 North 71st Place -- the location of Ava Arpaio's travel agency, and an address that might sound familiar to longtime New Times readers -- that's the only listed payment to Ava Investments.
That may very well be where the campaign-finance complaint comes into play. The complaint, filed by a woman named Irene Montoya Hemphill, raises a few issues, including that there's no way of telling what Willems -- Arpaio's campaign manager -- and Summit Consulting are doing with all that money
As you can see from an example below, Arpaio's campaign isn't too descriptive about what they're paying Summit Consulting for. "TV advertisement" shows up for three payments, "Fund Raising/Adm" shows up for another, and the fifth one is just left up to your imagination:
One might assume that instead of just listing that Arpaio's cutting himself the rent check, that money is sent to Summit before a check it made out to "Ava Investments LLC" -- since that office was still being used as campaign headquarters, as of September 24.
If not, that could be an issue.