Jerry Sheridan's Math: Sheriff's Office Saved $43 Million While Misspending $111 Million

sheridan-jerry-1.JPG
Image: Dennis Gilman
Jerry Sheridan, chief deputy under Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is a reasonable guy compared to the corrupt man he replaced -- but he sure sucks at math.

In a column that ran in the Arizona Republic's opinion section on Monday, Sheridan claims that "Sheriff Arpaio is a fiscally responsible steward who has come in under budget for all but one year of his 21 years in office, even returning money back to county coffers in the amount of $42.8 million since 2003."

Sounds wonderful. Yet during the same timeframe, the Sheriff's Office unlawfully took $111 million from a taxpayer-funded jail-improvement fund and used it to pay for salaries and other expenses that his budget should have paid for.

See also:
-Supervisors Spend $375,442 to Stop Mary Rose Wilcox From Getting $975,000
-Arpaio's New "Community Liaison" Officer Participated in MCSO Sweeps

Sheridan knows this because he admitted it two years ago, when the county discovered the massive misspending. (The total was pegged originally at $99.5 million, but county officials came up with the larger number after an audit.)

We won't get into the question of whether Arpaio's office robbed from the fund intentionally or not. Or whether the county would have allowed Arpaio's office to use extra millions from the county's general fund if Arpaio had asked for it, if his agency truly needed the money to pay its deputies.

All you need to know is basic math: Tens of millions misappropriated for operating expenses does not equal tens of millions saved on operating expenses.

Here's what Sheridan told one news agency in April of 2011:

"We paid deputies' salaries out of the jail tax fund because they were originally assigned to the detention function of court services," said Interim Chief Deputy Sheriff Jerry Sheridan. "As we transferred them out, the paperwork didn't follow."
It doesn't take a budget analyst to realize that if the salaries had been paid out of the Sheriff's Office general fund instead of raiding the jail tax fund, there would have been no $43 million in savings to return to the county.

The Sheriff's Office did not respond to a request for comment.

Sheridan's estimate of savings and claims of fiscal responsibility also doesn't deduct the tens of millions spent by taxpayers to defend against and settle lawsuits filed because of alleged -- and in many cases, proven -- misdeeds by Arpaio and his deputies. New Times estimated in 2007 that jail-related lawsuits alone cost the county $41 million, and that was seven years ago. More recently, Arpaio's unethical antics with former County Attorney Andrew Thomas cost the county about $28 million. Sheridan admits in his Monday column that the racial-profiling allegations against Arpaio by themselves are resulting in at least $22 million in costs.

Clearly, none of this adds up to $43 million in savings, either.

Sheridan's column implies that taxpayers are getting hosed on the $22 million, because Arpaio and his deputies didn't actually commit racial profiling. And that, of course, is even more unbelievable than the idea that Sheriff's Office is a "fiscally responsible steward" of taxpayer money.

arpaio 031110.jpg
Sheriff Arpaio is a "fiscally responsible steward" of taxpayer funds, says his chief deputy. Basic math says otherwise.
It also bears repeating here that Sheridan believes his boss can be a downright untrustworthy fink. During a probe of unethical practices under Arpaio, Sheridan described how he was one of the people who told Arpaio he seemed to be letting the former chief deputy, Dave Hendershott, act without supervision:

Sheridan told investigators in 2010 that he once told Arpaio that Hendershott was "running the place."

"Ah, that's bullshit -- I run this office," Arpaio told him in reply.

Sometimes Sheridan knew the right thing to do and tried to make suggestions to Arpaio. The sheriff would "tell me I was stupid" and do the "opposite of what I said," Sheridan told investigators.

Sheridan complained to the investigators that when he tried speaking to Arpaio in confidence about Hendershott, who later was scapegoated and fired by Arpaio, the sheriff ratted him out.

"The sheriff was not worried about protecting his source of information," Sheridan told investigators. Hendershott eventually would find out what Sheridan had told Arpaio and then "you'd get your ass kicked" by Hendershott.

Sheridan has been in Hendershott's old job for more than two years now. Presumably, he's learned to trust the sheriff, who maybe has learned to trust him. With Monday's sort-of fiscal analysis and revision of history on the racial-profiling allegations, it's still a question whether the public can trust either of them.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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33 comments
shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Don't you all see the basic problem here?


The MCSO is rotten from left to right, from top to bottom,from stem to stern, and on the inside and the outside.



MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I nearly had a heart attack because I was laughing so hard.

The narcissistic old man makes me fucking sickand is the face of extreme corruption.

The old man is a thief. He is a douche-nozzle. He is mentally sick. He deserves to be put out to pasture. Now.

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

The right wing fuzzy math!:-) Shut down US government costing billions and swear they succeeded in improving things, drive down the US bond rating from AAA to AA and they swear they did good!:-)

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Only an absolute idiot would believe anything MCSO representatives say, especially out of the mouths of Arpaio and his command staff Goons.

sussmanbern
sussmanbern

One of Arpaio's little economies was punishing his jail inmates with veggie diets, even on Thanksgiving.  In fact, most of his economies seem to come from cheaping out on the prisoners.  Although, of course, not bothering to follow through on hundreds of rape cases also saves money

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

"With Monday's sort-of fiscal analysis and revision of history on the racial-profiling allegations, it's still a question whether the public can trust either of them"

Why would WE taxpayers have ANY reason to trust either of them?

Not until the mentally ill elderly guy is gone and his command staff is replaced.....

robert_graham
robert_graham

If Penzone had won, he would have spent, spent, spent too but would you have a problem with that? And what about the corrupt Mary Rose Wilcox? How much has she cost the taxpayers? But do you oppose what she has done?

Gregg Myers
Gregg Myers

~ they have duly earned the loss of any presumption of remaining respectability, along with the ability to fulfill even the most menial duties of their office(s) :|

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

Atencio is 10-15 million. hendershott couldn't kick anyone's ass...obese pig. peace

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

Sometimes you have to misspend money to make money? 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

MSCO Logic:  "You have to waste money to save money!"

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Dishonest and incompetent, but he met his budget goal.   In my experience, that means he deserves a bonus.


MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

"Only an absolute idiot would believe anything MCSO representatives say."

Cue JAFfy in 3,2,1....

david_saint01
david_saint01

@robert_graham lol and you can prove your assertion about Penzone how exactly? Oh, and regardless of what you think of her, her rights were still violated. You know, those rights/laws you always talk about supporting 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@robert_graham Funny Jaffy.  Your site does a re-direct to a gay porn site that has picture of Arpaio in diapers, and Paulie Babau standing over him with a whip while dressed as a gladiator...

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Robert, no one cares about your little website.

Except you.

You are pathetic. And really sad.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter



@robert_graham  robert can you please explain something for me? this is serious and i would like to hear your input on it. some of the programs you are talking about that Joe is implementing are use of inmate labor to save the county and taxpayers money.i never had a problem with that and even approve of parts of that  like using SENTENCED inmates for labor. i  even approve of using the labor to help bury the indigents (a commendable program since it gives the poor a proper burial, and the SENTENCED inmates a close up with how life could turn if they go down the wrong path). i honestly dont have a problem with the pink boxers deal, but here is where the question starts. Joe SAYS he dyed the boxers to prevent theft and save us money right? so why is he selling them? the more he sells the more of a market he creates for them and thus provides a greater incentive to steal them. he SAYS he also paints the handcuffs pink to prevent the theft of them too.................................????????????? um, uh..........would you think that cops losing their gear or restraints might be a bigger problem than someone taking them? if they are supposed to be in charge of restraining people, knowing where the equipment to do that is............might be important.  how in the hell are these people stealing them and why is the fact  that they are being stolen OFTEN enough to warrant painting them not more important than their color?  if they are stealing police gear............do you really think the color will slow them down? if someone is going to steal it, they could care less if its pink. so how is painting the handcuffs pink and underwear pink saving us money, when he could save even more money by  having his officers check more thoroughly and more often for missing materials or gear

,granted its not all of the officers (i know a few and they are all right in my book), but Joe changing the color of the problem is not solving the problem. so Joe painting the cuffs and dying the underwear is NOT saving money, its throwing more money on top of a problem in order to disguise it

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@valleynativeInteresting comment. What wasn't reported was the number of years when MCSO requested and received additional revenue for the general fund. At the end of those years some of the ADDITIONAL funding may have been returned, thus making it appear the elderly guy was working within his budget, which simply wasn't so.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

simple solution to that whole problem Robert.................metal detectors. Joe could make his officers more safe by catching weapons coming in and make the jail maore secure by keeping the officers cuffs from walking out.. so instead of saving money and making things safer, Joe opts for painting things pink, and then repainting them pink, and replacing them pink.....................how is that saving money? i am sure all the officers who are finding weapons in jail, and missing handcuffs are all thinking "PINK" was the best way to go


azweasel
azweasel

He forgot suckthefartsoutofjoesass.com. What a certified douche nozzle.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_grahamcracker  the order of those names shows a disturbing progression of his man-crush on Joe. Joe might want to consider a restraining order in the near future

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@whateveryousay @ConcernedCitizenAZ Last election, The Joke was elected by the skin of his teeth.  Lowest margin yet.  And for the next election, the Joker will have his court appointed baby sitter during the campaign, and his WASTE of taxpayer money will be at about 1/4 of a BILLION dollars.

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