Joe Arpaio's Top Man, Jerry Sheridan, Described as a Bigot in Ex-Deputy's Book

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Brian Sands, a former top-ranking deputy under Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, describes Arpaio's current chief deputy as a bigot in a new, dirt-dishing book.

Our colleague Stephen Lemons first brought you news of Sands' book on Saturday. We ordered a copy for ourselves, and the typo-ridden, apparently self-published, 177-page book arrived in the mail yesterday. We'll be covering what it says over the next week or two. Today, we take a look at Chapter 1, in which Sands begins a Sheridan-bash that continues until the last chapter.

Sands also blasts his former boss in the first chapter as someone who's more interested in self-aggrandizement than his own deputies. Sheridan, a white man, is criticized heavily for his views on other ethnic persuasions. And Frank Munnell, the commander who exposed shady dealings of some of Arpaio's top brass in 2010, is also described as being extremely insensitive to minorities.

See also:
-Arpaio's Ex-Deputy Chief Dishes Dirt on Steven Seagal, Birthers, and More
-Deputy Chief Brian Sands' Testimony Contradicted by His Statements in 2010

Sands begins his book, "Arpaio De Facto Lawman," in 1992 when he meets the newly elected Arpaio for the first time. Sands was working as a detective for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office back then, and he'd been assigned the Buddhist Temple Murders case, which had been botched so bad by the office that it resulted in Tom Agnos losing the sheriff's race to Arpaio.

Sands was shopping in a cop-uniform store when Arpaio walked in, looking for someone else. He asked Sands about his work, and Sands told him he was working on the Temple Murders.

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Image: Ray Stern
Brian Sands, former deputy chief under Sheriff Joe Arpaio
"That's nothing to be proud of," Arpaio told him.

And indeed, it wasn't -- considering that the office's investigation had been bungled so badly, deputies had gotten four men from Tucson to confess to the mass murder, even though they didn't do it. Sands claims he "believed early on that the focus was on the wrong people," but that higher-ups in the office were "dead set on implicating" the Tucson men.

Arpaio told Sands not to worry about a probe he was planning into the problems with the murder investigation, and he downplayed the idea that the Tucson men were involved. Sands says he and other detectives on the case were relieved.

Sands was later put into the agency's organized-crime division.

"Was our new leader a very benevolent person?" Sands writes. "Yes and no."

Sands claims he came to understand that Arpaio did care about front-line workers at the agency. But a couple of pages later, he describes an incident in which Arpaio called a news conference to tout the arrest of some murder suspects. The detectives who'd been involved in the case were asked to come to the news conference, which "impressed" Sands -- for a minute.

After most people had left the room, Sands says he "thanked Arpaio for his public recognition of deputies' hard work. He gave me a very strange look -- which I have never forgotten -- and didn't say a word."

A sergeant soon explained to him that Sands was mistaken if he thought the news conference was "about the deputies." It was really "all about the Sheriff" and a "press opportunity." Sands says that's when he started to learn how the office under Arpaio would work.

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How Arpaio ran his posse program was another concern of Sands'. He recalls responding to a domestic violence call and finding flamboyant posse member Tim Gee already at the scene, fully dressed in an MCSO uniform. Gee explained that he worked for the water service in Wittman and just happened to be at the scene when the domestic-violence call came in. Sands was concerned that Gee was out shutting off water for non-paying utility customers while in an MCSO uniform. He was even more surprised when he later found out that Gee was a former member of the Dirty Dozen motorcycle gang and a convicted felon.

Sands reserves a large amount of criticism for the current chief deputy. A rookie deputy when he first met Sheridan, Sands writes that he's always had a "friendly relationship with Sheridan; however, he had a reputation for not taking care of business." He would often find Sheridan "sleeping in his patrol car" and could not take him seriously as a deputy.

Sheridan was interested in dealing with complaints about day laborers in the community. But Sands was suspicious of Sheridan's motives, saying Sheridan seemed to be "ethnically biased. He would, from time to time, speak in derogatory terms, reference groups of people, and appeared to think he was funny."

Sands details one such incident in which he told Sheridan about a deputy who had a bad habit of coming in late to work.

"Well, it is in his genes," Sands says Sheridan told him. He asked Sheridan to clarify the comment, and Sheridan said, "You know" and laughed. Sands assumed Sheridan -- who had a "class-clown attitude" -- made the comment because the deputy was black.

MCSO Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan is singled out for a heaping of criticism in Brian Sands' book.Sheridan once noted that an MCSO commander of Italian descent wore lots of jewelry because it was a "'Guido' thing." Sheridan allegedly told Sands his "hero" was an Irish Republican Army terrorist named Bobbi Sands. Sands writes that he found Sheridan's "divisive and ethnocentric" attitude "frightening."

Sheridan's "close friend," Frank Munnell, also shows the "same lack of common sense," according to Sands. One time, Munnell circulated a fake police lineup picture "throughout the division" that featured several photos of Buckwheat from the Little Rascals TV show and one picture of Jerry Sheridan.

Munnell also reportedly sent a Christmas card to a Jewish deputy, writing in it, "Merry Christmas you f___ing Jew."

Sands claims he was "shocked," and that the Jewish deputy told him he wished he'd saved the card.

Other highlights from the first chapter include:

* Arpaio ordered his deputies to violate policy by driving to every call with lights and sirens on. Sands writes that he told one deputy doing this that while Arpaio could order him to violate policy, the deputy could be held responsible if anyone was hurt.

* A former lieutenant with the office, Jim Nielson, "ran amuck (sic)" in the office under the "weak" leadership of Sheridan. Nielson was "obsessed" with a local nudist colony. He kept a binder in his office with complaints about the colony and derogatory notes about the colony's residents.

Sands concludes the chapter by acknowledging that some of his complaints against Arpaio and Sheridan may seem "petty to some," but that he was foreshadowing some of the "later problems" addressed later in the book.

Sands has his own reasons for publishing this gossip, but they're not very clear. As a whole, the book comes off as biased and bitter. Some of it is written poorly. But it's damned interesting for longtime observers of Arpaio and his often-dysfunctional, discriminatory agency.

Next week, we'll cover Chapter Two, which covers more of Arpaio's publicity-seeking, problems with posse members, hanging out with Jerry Springer and the feud between Arpaio and former County Attorney Rick Romley.

New Times put in a request to Arpaio, Sheridan and Munnell for comment about Sands' book and its allegations. We'll let you know if they respond.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.

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59 comments
LibertarianSodlier
LibertarianSodlier

Sounds like someone got passed over and wasn't given his gold star often enough.  If that's it, if that's the dirt dishing, you should get out more.  Go to some other Police and Sheriff Departments.


Disgruntled employee!

devilsbeatwildscats
devilsbeatwildscats

Could he be the next Nazi Joe? I am sure it will make a lot of white people (the ones that keep voting him in) feel safe if he was.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Sheridan is the dumbshit who admitted on camera that Judge Snow's rulings and orders were "ludicrous" and "crap".

So, no surprise there.

In fact, Sands' book is filled with shit the general public already knows about the Arpaio administration.

Not really much there for someone to sink their teeth into....

RacistBigot
RacistBigot

Sounds like Sheridan was the creator of the Melendrez problem.  Hopefully, Judge Snow is reading this and will understand the root cause of the problem.  I can imagine how angry ol' Jerry must have been when Judge Snow admonished him.  Would be interesting to hear what Hendershot has to say about this.  They must have so much dirt on him that he won't come up for air.  Ol Joe better watch his backside with Jerry.  And Jerry better quit screwing Lisa Allen - or was that Munnell doing that?  Probably both.

rh19541954
rh19541954

Three republican governors are in danger of prison as we all debate Arpaio and his goons, Mcdonnell of Virginia, Christie of New Jersey and last but not least is Perry of Texas, the folks around Arpaio ought to be worried their time is growing short!

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

Also in chapter 2 will be a messed up and incomplete story about our dear friend and PNT commenter "Cot".  ;o)


It shows how far Arpaio will go and how many resources he will spend on his own personal vendettas.


I loved the dogging on Segal. What a moron.


It was painful reading this piece of work.  He slaughtered the English language and clearly didn't even bother to proofread it, much less edit it and polish it up for public consumption.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

Interestingly, on Friday, MCSO conducted a valley wide 'sting' of stores selling tobacco to underage humans. This very issue was covered in the book by Sands and was a loser then and the ONLY reason for it was for the elderly shurf to get media attention. 


The geriatric goon just never gives up.


He's spending taxpayer money and personnel resources on stuff like this while the real law enforcement agencies were arresting sex trafficking suspects. 


Arizona Gardener
Arizona Gardener

thats right keep the border open ...lol. remember who pushed open borders and multiculturalism.. your president and this rag.

Aaron Foster
Aaron Foster

Oooh gooooddddd.. Oh a bigot, oh nooooo! Oh fuck! .... Head for the hills! ooooOoooO!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

MCSO, the Reno 911 of law enforcement agencies.

What an embarrassment all these ass clowns are to Arizona.
Including Sands.

rh19541954
rh19541954

DOJ ought to be in Maricopa county doing a investigation of Arpaio and his corrupt department, wonder what snakes they would find in that racist wood pile!:-)

LibertarianSodlier
LibertarianSodlier

@devilsbeatwildscats What's with the racist comments?  Is that all you have to contribute?  Mom didn't teach you not to get involved in making $#!+ up about people, about gossiping, about bearing false witness against your brother, about talking $#!+ for no reason?


Grow up!

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 Mostly opinion, however he does validate a lot of what many of us have been saying over the years. Especially with regard to the elderly man knowing what's going and and not caring about anyone but himself, including victims of crime, "If there were any"....


wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

@rh19541954 I predict that IF (and that's a big if) he is still around to run for office again in 2016 (not bed-ridden from a stroke or fall, not in prison and not pushing up daisies) he will lose a re-election bid to any reasonably competent opponent.  I find it hard to believe there are enough idiots left who put their heads in the sand and refuse to see him for the farce he really is, that he could possibly draw a majority of the vote.


Of course, I said that in 2012 too... 

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

@TommyCollins My daughter was working at Danny's during the original "sting".  She said her manager warned the counter staff about the operation. Makes me think Joe warned Danny...

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

You, Sir or Madam, are an idiot. What does ISIS have to do with this story and why do you think people here are Pro-ISIS?


I think you're just another hater looking for a venue to screech and scream about our President.


Here's a suggestion: Stay ON TOPIC and RELEVANT.  Or GO AWAY.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Moron alert ^^

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

You obviously don't comprehend the problem.

Charlie
Charlie

@Cozz As bad as our local police have been the last couple weeks in the STL area, I'm glad I always have a department to look at if I want to feel better.

Charlie
Charlie

@rh19541954 
St Louis COUNTY.  be sure to specify.  St Louis City is a separate entity

rh19541954
rh19541954

@MaskedMagician1967 


Guess you do not read or view much news, its been widely reported the democrat prosecutor and judge recused themselves, and a republican prosecutor/judge issued these indictments and rulings!:-)

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@wherewasi @rh19541954 

Word has it David Gonzales, the United States Marshal for Phoenix currently, previously a commander for DPS is going to run for Maricopa County Sheriff in 2016.

Its just what Maricopa County needs. Gonzales gets elected, you watch how many of the current MCSO douche-bags retire or get fired then.

Gonzales will make a great sheriff and I'm sure won't put up with all the corruption MCSO is known for over the last 18 years.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I was unaware of this.

I hope the new da, regardless of political affiliation, does the right thing and brings a solid case against Perry rh.

CriticalThinkin
CriticalThinkin

It's not happening. Gonzales has no desire to chance losing. He will wait for The grim reaper to make an entrance before he throws his hat in.

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

@Cozz Hey, "Cot" -LOL!


I hope your rumors are correct. I was hoping he would take Joe on in 2012 but, of course, that did not happen.


Gonzales would be a great sheriff. He has demonstrated the ability of running a large agency with efficiency and integrity.


GONZALES FOR SHERIFF 2016!!!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@wherewasi 

OH, LOL...

Damm, now I have to buy the fucking book...

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@CriticalThinkin 

We'll see...

Don't know if you know who he is, but David was appointed and is the US Marshal (SAIC) for the Phx Field Office. Previous to that, he was a Commander with DPS in a Organized Crime Unit.

My first question when I heard this, was why would David want to give up a killer job that he's respected in, trusted and does a great job at to deal with all the BS MCSO has to offer and the hassle it's going to be to straighten 18 years of corruption out for a lot less money. 

The answer I got was, sometimes its not about the money, or even the position title, it's about just doing it the right thing when you can't stand by and watch the abuse any longer and know you can do something to stop it.

David has been a closer watcher of whats gone on with MCSO for many years.

I fact, he sat in Federal Court several times during my civil suit against Arputo with his support and to see what was going down.

I have a feeling he'll run in 2016...

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

@CriticalThinkin If there was any chance he would lose, I would buy that. But there is NO CHANCE he would lose.  Arpaio' s popularity has been dwindling for years. He just squeaked past Penzone in 2012. Gonzales would slam him.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@wherewasi 

Yes, I was bummed to it didn't happen in 2012. But it was for good reason.

Its direct from a very reliable source that called me to let me know of the intentions this time ;-)


wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

@Cozz   But make sure you always wear gloves when dropping dimes in pay phones when calling your mother... ;o)

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

@Cozz   It's only $4.99 as an e-book...  You are in chapter 2, with another vague reference to the cost of trying to incriminate you in the final chapter. No reference to them planting the drugs or your subsequent successful lawsuit...

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

@Cozz If he runs, he will win. No doubt about it!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@wherewasi 

Penzone can't hold a candle to Gonzales either.

CriticalThinkin
CriticalThinkin

I don't disagree that he'd win. He had the opportunity to run in 2012 and didn't.

Coz, I know who he is. I have never spoken directly to him but have been in the same social circles...what you might not be aware of is he's friendly with Arpaio. They talk quite frequently. Arpaio wouldn't give him the time of day if he thought Gonzalez was after his job.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@CriticalThinkin 

I personally know David, I can assure you he thinks Arputo is a corrupt Buffoon that should be in prison and not a sheriff.

Arputo wouldn't know the time of day if he wore 10 watches.

wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

@CriticalThinkin Joe is ignorant. He has taken credit for what the Marshalls have done on more than one occasion. Just wait ... when Gonzales announces he is running, Joe will hold a press conference to announce Gonzales is under investigation for one thing or another...

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

Maybe if we put a clock on top of a camera he would notice it?????

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