Joe Arpaio's Investigating Federal Judge G. Murray Snow, DOJ, Sources Say, and Using a Seattle Scammer To Do It
"No, Dennis Montgomery," I replied. "The computer guy in Seattle who is helping you investigate Judge Snow and the DOJ. You are investigating Snow and the DOJ, aren't you?"
As he hit the cheese platter again, Arpaio looked over his shoulder at me with a grin. But he said nothing.
I kept after him, asking why deputies Mackiewicz and Anglin had spent so much time in Seattle.
"I dunno, maybe they like the weather up there," he said over his shoulder, "or the snow crab."
True to form, the sheriff was cagey, but there was no denial.
The ex-Special Investigations source I know tells me that the joke around Arpaio's office is that Montgomery's referred to as "Snowden," after Edward Snowden, the American computer geek responsible for a massive 2013 leak of classified documents from the National Security Agency that exposed Orwellian surveillance programs run by the U.S. government.
"[Montgomery] says he worked for the CIA on a project called Hammer [and] collected data similar to Snowden's," the source says. "[Montgomery] claims he can prove there was a conspiracy between [U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder and Judge Snow . . . a conspiracy against Arpaio."
Montgomery, who is middle-aged and stocky with a shock of white hair, is no Snowden. Whatever you think of Snowden, at least the information he released generally has been confirmed as legitimate.
As with the gibberish Montgomery reportedly gave the CIA in the early 2000s, he has, according to my sources, produced many printouts for the MCSO that seem off point, with dates going back to 1999 and earlier.
Obviously, that's long before Arpaio took up the cause of illegal immigration, long before he was investigated or sued by the DOJ, and long before he became the subject of the ACLU's big racial profiling lawsuit Melendres v. Arpaio.
One source informs me that at least one underling told Arpaio recently that what Montgomery provided the MCSO is worthless, that Joe is getting played -- which caused the sheriff to erupt into a fit of anger.
When Montgomery was approached by a freelance reporter on behalf of New Times in April, he was nonplussed.
Montgomery came to the door of his Yarrow Point home, a cell phone at his ear, talking to someone about computer equipment.
The reporter identified himself, and Montgomery asked for a card, which the reporter presented.
"I really don't wanna talk to you," Montgomery said, ending his call.
"Okay, about Phoenix . . .," the reporter began.
"No comment," Montgomery shot back.
"Arizona . . .," the reporter started again.
"No comment," Montgomery repeated. "Who sent you up here?"
"Phoenix New Times," the reporter explained.
"Yeah," growled Montgomery.
"Have you done any work for Joe Arpaio?" the reporter asked.
"I, I, I have no comment," Montgomery said, moving away. "I'll call you later. I'll think about it."
Montgomery went back into his house and shut the door, ending the conversation on a mysterious note. As with Arpaio, there was no denial.
Is Dennis Montgomery Joe Arpaio's Snowden? I cannot say absolutely.
But it's not far-fetched to think that Arpaio would investigate any powerful public official. He continues to investigate the president. He and now-disbarred former County Attorney Andrew Thomas investigated Superior Court judges perceived to be thwarting their anti-undocumented-immigrant policies.
That is, it fits a pattern cultivated over his reign of more than 20 years.
Among Arpaio's bogus investigations have been:
• One targeting former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard for alleged bribery. The probe began in 2007 and didn't seem to end until Goddard left office.
• One that brought the 2008 indictment of then-county Supervisor Don Stapley on 118 criminal counts related to his allegedly not properly disclosing sources of income. All counts were dismissed ultimately.
• An infamous December 2009 RICO suit brought by Arpaio and Thomas against the entire Board of Supervisors, various county employees and certain Superior Court judges. Supposedly, they all were part of a conspiracy involving the county's new court tower. The suit was a disaster that finally got dismissed by Thomas himself.
• A probe resulting in the filing of false bribery charges in 2009 against former Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe. Arpaio and Thomas ginned up these charges as retaliation against Donahoe for adverse rulings and to make Donahoe vacate a hearing that Arpaio and Thomas didn't want to take place.
And now Judge Snow, who in 2013 found the MCSO guilty of racial profiling and assigned a monitor to make certain that Arpaio was obeying court orders on reforming and re-educating deputies so that the agency does not profile Latinos or any other minority again?
As for Holder, the DOJ remains engaged in a lawsuit accusing Arpaio of abuse of power and prejudiced policing.
At age 82, the sheriff faces the ignominy of ending his law enforcement career as a disgraced political colossus.
All -- in his mind -- because of Snow and the DOJ.
Why not attempt an investigation aimed at discrediting his perceived nemeses?
Though there never will be any pink handcuffs in Snow's or Holder's future, Arpaio's racist, wing-nut supporters would consider it an act of bravery that their hero is investigating federal officials getting in the way of keeping despised Latinos in their place.
Meaning more money in the sheriff's perpetual re-election kitty and proving that bogus investigations continue to pay off.
My dream, of course, is that Snow blows a gasket and perp-walks the aged autocrat. We'll see.