Arpaio Needs "Skin in the Game," Says Judge, Before Any Civil Contempt Settlement

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During a hearing in federal court in Phoenix on Friday, Judge G. Murray Snow said more than once that Sheriff Joe Arpaio would have to have "skin in the game" as part of any settlement agreement in contempt allegations against Arpaio and four current and former high-ranking MCSO deputies.

Snow was addressing a surprise admission of guilt this week by Arpaio and his Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan that they committed civil contempt of the judge's orders in the ACLU's big racial profiling case Melendres v. Arpaio.

Sheridan and Arpaio are looking to head off a four-day civil trial scheduled for late April, which could result in the referral of the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office for possible criminal contempt proceedings.

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Joe Arpaio Tries Diverting Media from Guilt Admission, ACLU Still Wants April Hearing

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So what do you do if you've just undercut more than two decades of selling yourself to the public as "America's Toughest Sheriff" with a groveling admission to a federal judge that you're guilty of civil contempt and are ready to bend over for punishment?

If you're Sheriff Joe Arpaio, you raid a cat lady's house and blow out of proportion a few cockamamie death threats against you.

It's a classic move by ol' Joe, one he and his top flack Lisa Allen have pulled so many times over the years that you'd think the local media would see it coming.

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Doug Ducey's Power Grab Continues, Mark Brnovich Pushes Back

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Some hot, Republican-on-Republican action broke out Wednesday in a state Senate Government Committee hearing, as Senator John Kavanagh offered a "strike all" amendment to House Bill 2420 that creates a state Inspector General's Office, with wide police powers, beholden only to the governor.

As I recently reported, the Ducey administration says it wants this new IG's office, with its subpoena power and its authority over existing IGs in various department of state government, so Ducey can root out waste, mismanagement, and corruption.

IG investigators would have badges, and employees of state government would have to cooperate with them or face sanctions. The IG will be able to conduct criminal investigations, but its employees will not be certified by the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board.

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Doug Ducey Seeks Expansion of Executive Power in State Inspector General Bill

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Those allegedly small-gub'mint Republicans are at it again in the state legislature, proposing a brand spankin' new law enforcement agency, beholden only to the governor, and apparently exempt from state public records law.

The proffered legislation comes in the form of a "strike everything" amendment from state Senator John Kavanaugh (on behalf of Governor Doug Ducey) to House Bill 2420, which would create an "office of the inspector general" to investigate fraud, waste and mismanagement in state government.

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Joe Arpaio Admits Guilt in Civil Contempt Case, Seeks to Avoid April Hearing

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In a bombshell filing in federal court Tuesday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan admitted that they are guilty of civil contempt, in a blatant attempt to avoid an upcoming civil trial before U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow.

Since earlier this year, when Snow ordered a four day civil contempt hearing to address allegations that Arpaio and four former and current aides have disobeyed the judge's orders in the ACLU's big racial profiling case, Melendres v. Arpaio, the sheriff and his co-defendants have sought to wiggle out of the de facto trial, scheduled for April.

(One exception: Former Deputy Chief Brian Sands, who according to his attorney Dennis Wilenchik, is willing to testify at the hearing and will not invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege.)

Arpaio and some of the others have sought assurances that the civil charges would not be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's Office for possible criminal action, and have tried to settle the matter with the plaintiffs in the case, all to no avail.

Now, Arpaio and Sheridan are admitting wrongdoing, promising to make good, and pleading for mercy from Judge Snow.

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Diane Douglas: Clean Elections Poster Girl

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Were it not for the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act, Diane Douglas would not be Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The crazy cat lady now in charge of the Arizona Department of Education would still be a wall-eyed instructor at Glendale's Stained Glass Shop if she hadn't scored $97,620 of free Clean Elections money in the 2014 GOP primary and $146,430 in the general election.

That's just under a quarter of a million bucks total, if you're keeping score at home.

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Prosecutor Seeks to Prevent Alleged Child Molester Chris Simcox from Personally Cross-Examining Victims

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The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has filed a request in superior court seeking to bar alleged child molester and former Minuteman Chris Simcox from personally cross-examining child victims during his upcoming trial in Phoenix, scheduled to begin March 16.

In the 14-page pleading, dated March 6, deputy county attorney Yigael Cohen calls Simcox's invoking his Sixth Amendment right to self-representation "a constitutional crisis -- not for [Simcox], but for his child victims."

Cohen argues that the best remedy is to allow Simcox's "advisory counsel" to question the minors directly, in Simcox's stead.

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"Driving While Black" on Mill Avenue? Tempe Cops Deny Man's Right to Record Traffic Stop (Video)

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This is actually two videos of the same stop taken by Anderson Jean-Louis, with a pause between the two.

To judge from a recent video of an encounter with a black motorist, it looks like some Tempe cops could use a refresher course in the First Amendment.

The video was shot by 29-year-old Arizona resident Anderson Jean-Louis, after he was stopped by Tempe bike cops on the evening of February 13, allegedly because he was playing his music too loud on the car stereo of his Audi A8L.

As you can see above, the video shows Tempe officers Lara Camberg and Martin Marchant questioning Jean-Louis as he sits on a curb after exiting his vehicle.


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Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists Confront Demonstrators at ASU

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Sadly, I missed all the fun Tuesday at Arizona State University's Tempe campus, where demonstrators assembled to support two ASU instructors singled out by neo-Nazi groups: ASU English Professor Lee Bebout and Ph.D. candidate Robert Poe.

The ASU State Press reports that on March 3, demonstrators "protested outside ASU's Fulton Center . . . calling for ASU administration to defend their faculty members from the harassment of outside organizations, such as National Youth Front."

Protesters were countered by six or seven neo-Nazis and white supremacists of various allegiances, including Harry Hughes of the National Socialist Movement and John Hess of the National Youth Front.

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National Youth Front's "John Hess" Cops to "Anti-White" Fliers Targeting ASU Professor

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A National Youth Front member, identifying himself as "John Hess," has admitted to fliering Arizona State University's Tempe campus with images of ASU English Professor Lee Bebout, labeling the teacher "Anti-White."

During a conversation we had via Facebook, Hess said he is the hooded individual seen in a video on NYF's YouTube account, passing out fliers targeting Bebout.

He also copped to being the person who filmed and posted to YouTube his debate with ASU PhD candidate Robert Poe, during Poe's recent teach-in at ASU to discuss Professor Bebout's controversial course on critical race theory, subtitled "The Problem of Whiteness."

Since Fox News reported on the course, Bebout has been the subject of intense criticism from conservatives and those further to the right.

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