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Maricopa County to pay $3.75 million for false arrests

Some of the harshest media criticism of Sheriff Joe Arpaio has come from the Phoenix New Times paper, and their allied web site. Today they reported:

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors this afternoon voted unanimously to approve a $3.75 million settlement for New Times’ co-founders, whose false arrests in 2007 were orchestrated by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and jailed on misdemeanor charges alleging that they violated the secrecy of a grand jury — which turned out never to have been convened.

The actual story that led to the lawsuit is as entertaining as it is bizarre as it is shocking. Who would have thought that a veteran law enforcement officer would stoop to filing blatantly-false charges against political opponents!

In a related story Don Stapley will receive $3.5 million for false arrest and prosecution. This is in addition to $5 million paid out previously for legal abuses in lawsuits between 2008 and 2010 on top of $43 million in settlements for prisoner death and injury lawsuits. That tops $55 million! Here are the details on the false arrest and prosecution cases:

Name Amount Disputed Total
Kunasek $123,000 $123,000
Mundell $500,000 $500,000
Schuerman $500,000 $500,000
Dowling $250,000 $250,000
Baca $100,000 $100,000
Fields $100,000 $100,000
Wetzel $75,000 $75,000
Wolfswinkel $1,400,000 $1,400,000
Donahoe $1,270,000 $1,270,000
Wilcox $975,000 $975,000
Stapley $3,500,000 $3,500,000
Lacey and Larkin $3,750,000 $3,750,000
Total $11,568,000 $975,000 $12,543,000

 

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37 Responses to Maricopa County to pay $3.75 million for false arrests

  1. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    With this settlement and another that’s in the works I think Arpaio’s arrogance and incompetence in office have cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County upwards of $20-million dollars.

  2. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    CarlOrcas:
    With this settlement and another that’s in the works I think Arpaio’s arrogance and incompetence in office have cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County upwards of $20-million dollars.

    Correction: I hit the 2 instead of the 5: Settlements of lawsuits are upwards of $50-million and I don’t think that includes legal expenses.

  3. avatar
    Joe Acerbic December 21, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    Are the voters and taxpayers of Maricopa County the most unselfishly malignant idiots in the nation?

  4. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 2:25 am #

    Joe Acerbic:
    Are the voters and taxpayers of Maricopa County the most unselfishly malignant idiots in the nation?

    As a former resident of the county who never supported or voted for Arpaio I must say it’s a little more complicated….but not much. Arpaio is a political grifter. Some people saw it the minute he took office but for most it has taken 20 years for his approval numbers to drop to where he really may have a problem getting reelected…..if he decides to run again.

  5. avatar
    alg December 21, 2013 at 3:36 am #

    He should be impeached and removed from office for malfeasance and criminal conduct.

  6. avatar
    aarrgghh December 21, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    but wait — yes, virginia, santa’s got even more presents for maricopa!:

    “Don Stapley Payout for Sheriff Arpaio’s Antics: $3.5 Million”

    The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors didn’t just settle with New Times’ former top executives today — the panel also settled with former Supervisor Don Stapley.

    The county (or rather, its insurance company) will shell out $3.5 million to Stapley, who represented the east Valley on the board from 1994 to 2012 and infamously was arrested without good cause and smeared publicly by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

    Stapley decided not to run for office again last year following his troubles.

    The settlements today to Stapley and to New Times’ former executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin nearly end the painful saga of “county craziness,” as we call it. Still unfinished is the business of Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox’s $975,000 disputed settlement. Concerns over how that settlement was made resulted in legal action now under consideration by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Considering that Supervisor Andy Kunasek received his $123,000 settlement for legal fees, and now Stapley’s on his way to his own fat check, Wilcox must be frustrated.

    The public loses with the Stapley settlement — because no Stapley trial will take place in January, after all. The settlement comes just after a devastating ruling in the case by U.S. District Judge Neil Wake, who ordered it to trial last month and rejected motions for summary judgment by Sheriff Arpaio and others.

    It would have been a heck of show.

  7. avatar
    Curious George December 21, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    And the birthers believe that this guy is the end all in criminal investigators? Remember, Zullo is Arpaio’s CCCP go to guy.

  8. avatar
    Lupin December 21, 2013 at 6:03 am #

    That half-full part of the glass is that people wronged by Arpaio (who is allegedly wanted in Mexico) get redress; the half-empty part is that this is third-world-type behavior.

    Like Pat Buchanan declaring his man-love for Putin the other day, this only confirms that the US Right wing is deeply delusional.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 21, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    This article has been updated to mention the $43 million in payouts for wrongful death and injury lawsuits. Also a Wikipedia link has been added under “Read more.”

  10. avatar
    JPotter December 21, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Maybe someday “his” voters will see the high cost of voting Arpaio. If they can’t see the moral and ethical cost, surely they can see the fiscal cost.

    Right.

    This will continue to be spun as ebil lie-bruls persecuting a paragon of conservative “values”. Arpaio will eventually retire, probably medically. Eventually.

  11. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    alg:
    He should be impeached and removed from office for malfeasance and criminal conduct.

    No impeachment for his office but he can be recalled. In Arizona it requires a certain number of signatures (I forget how many but the number is pretty high as I recall) to get it on the next ballot.

  12. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG December 21, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Wow, If I knew Santa was gonna be granting my wish list this year, I would have gone bigger.

  13. avatar
    Curious George December 21, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Carl Orcas:
    “No impeachment for his office but he can be recalled. In Arizona it requires a certain number of signatures (I forget how many but the number is pretty high as I recall) to get it on the next ballot.”

    They already tried to recall him. Larry Klayman in his WND fund raising advertising took credit for the recall upset.

  14. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG December 21, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I can’t wait to see the collective birther reaction to this news!
    Oh, and suddenly my “We have more new evidence! Send Money!” sense is tingling. I get the feeling that this will prompt Zullo to step up the fundraising.

  15. avatar
    alg December 21, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    CarlOrcas: “No impeachment for his office but he can be recalled. In Arizona it requires a certain number of signatures (I forget how many but the number is pretty high as I recall) to get it on the next ballot.”

    Well, then perhaps the County Prosecutor or the State’s AG should pursue criminal charges against the man. I can’t think of a more perfect outcome than having Mr. Arpaio have to wear his own damn pink underwear.

  16. avatar
    Joey December 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    alg: Well, then perhaps the County Prosecutor or the State’s AG should pursue criminal charges against the man.I can’t think of a more perfect outcome than having Mr. Arpaio have to wear his own damn pink underwear.

    That’s unlikely to happen, the County Attorney is a conservative Republican, as is the state Attorney General.

    The Phoenix New Times has an excellent article on the entire affair.
    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2013/12/joe_arpaio_loses_new_times_co-.php

  17. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Curious George: They already tried to recall him. Larry Klayman in his WND fund raising advertising took credit for the recall upset.

    Yes but they never got enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

  18. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Joey: That’s unlikely to happen, the County Attorney is a conservative Republican, as is the state Attorney General.

    On top of that the Feds spent several years considering it and decided to take a pass.

  19. avatar
    Joey December 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    CarlOrcas: On top of that the Feds spent several years considering it and decided to take a pass.

    The accumulation of legal judgements against Arpaio and the money damages assessed against him are still the way to go, in my humble opinion.

  20. avatar
    Curious George December 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    CarlO:
    “Yes but they never got enough signatures to get it on the ballot.”

    We know that. But he doesn’t tell his birther buddies this, nor does he tell them the court kicked him out of the recall action in AZ! Same old same old.

  21. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Curious George: We know that. But he doesn’t tell his birther buddies this, nor does he tell them the court kicked him out of the recall action in AZ! Same old same old.

    Klayman seems have only a fleeting acquaintance with the truth.

  22. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Joey: The accumulation of legal judgements against Arpaio and the money damages assessed against him are still the way to go, in my humble opinion.

    Time is not Joe Arpaio’s friend…..personally or politically.

  23. avatar
    Rickey December 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Correction: I hit the 2 instead of the 5: Settlements of lawsuits are upwards of $50-million and I don’t think that includes legal expenses.

    It also doesn’t include the money wasted on the so-called investigations, which could have been used to investigate the sexual abuse cases which Arpaio’s department ignored for years.

  24. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    Rickey: It also doesn’t include the money wasted on the so-called investigations, which could have been used to investigate the sexual abuse cases which Arpaio’s department ignored for years.

    All these legal settlements are a combination of insurance and county operating funds.

    You’re right….there is no accounting for the MCSO budget monies spent on all these ill fated escapades.

    I’m not sure where the monies to handle the federal lawsuits Arpaio just lost are coming from. Same with any sanctions the judge may impose.

    The cash register just keeps ringing!

  25. avatar
    Joey December 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    These admissions of guilt by the Maricopa County Supervisors effectively throw both Arpaio and the Cold Case Posse under the bus. Any defense attorney in any legal action that is the least bit political will be able to point out to judges or juries the Arpaio track record in illegally going after his political enemies.

  26. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Lacey and Larkin $3,750,000 $3,750,000

    Here is another link from the New Times. It’s a compilation of all their stories about Arpaio. I had even forgotten about some of the stuff. It’s a depressing read:

    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arpaio/

  27. avatar
    Rickey December 21, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    CarlOrcas: All these legal settlements are a combination of insurance and county operating funds.

    You’re right….there is no accounting for the MCSO budget monies spent on all these ill fated escapades.

    I’m not sure where the monies to handle the federal lawsuits Arpaio just lost are coming from. Same with any sanctions the judge may impose.

    The cash register just keeps ringing!

    And I’m sure that the premiums for the county’s liability insurance are skyrocketing.

  28. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 21, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    Rickey: And I’m sure that the premiums for the county’s liability insurance are skyrocketing.

    It’s been a while – about ten years ago, as I recall – when the first big lawsuits and settlements hit from deaths in the jail that the county ended up self-insuring after commercial insurance rates went through the roof.

    At one point they had excess coverage but I’m not sure where they are now.

    Either way it’s costing the taxpayers of Maricopa County a lot of money.

  29. avatar
    Benji Franklin December 22, 2013 at 12:58 am #

    CarlOrcas: t’s been a while – about ten years ago, as I recall – when the first big lawsuits and settlements hit from deaths in the jail that the county ended up self-insuring after commercial insurance rates went through the roof.

    They’re gonna regret self-insuring if Mike Zoo Low’s Universe-shattering evidence actually shatters the Universe. That’s a lot of risk to assume just to avoid paying a $500 deductible. And of course, you probably have to have collision coverage too, I guess.

  30. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 22, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Benji Franklin: They’re gonna regret self-insuring if Mike Zoo Low’s Universe-shattering evidence actually shatters the Universe. That’s a lot of risk to assume just to avoid paying a $500 deductible. And of course, you probably have to have collision coverage too, I guess.

    The only thing in danger of being shattered in the vicinity of the MCSO is a cheap beer mug at the Bikini Lounge when some wanna be cop passes out at the bar.

  31. avatar
    Rickey December 22, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    CarlOrcas: The only thing in danger of being shattered in the vicinity of the MCSO is a cheap beer mug at the Bikini Lounge when some wanna be cop passes out at the bar.

    Is the Bikini Lounge still open? I was in that place a couple of times back in the late 70s.

  32. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 22, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    Rickey: Is the Bikini Lounge still open? I was in that place a couple of times back in the late 70s.

    We’ve been gone for a couple of years but I believe it closed (like most everything along that section of Grand Avenue) but has recently reopened and is enjoying something of a renaissance as the area is being populated with art studios and restaurants with food from places you’ve never heard of.

    Before I-17/I-10 opened up through town US 60 funneled all that traffic along Van Buren and then out Grand Avenue. Both streets were lined with motels, restaurants and some interesting bars…..like the Bikini.

  33. avatar
    Curious George December 22, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Speaking about Shurf Joe and his various escapades, our good friend Carl Gal-oops has made yet another You-tube that I found over at BR. He states that there is no proof that Obama was even born in America, among other claims about the irrefutable evidence developed by Shurf Joe. To all of Gal-oops claims I would call his attention to the Hawaii Verification of Birth for Barack Obama. That one document blows a huge hole in “Pastor” Gal-oops arguments.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u1tfoLS8wfc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Du1tfoLS8wfc

  34. avatar
    Joey December 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Curious George:
    Speaking about Shurf Joe and his various escapades, our good friend Carl Gal-oops has made yet another You-tube that I found over at BR. He states that there is no proof that Obama was even born in America, among other claims about the irrefutable evidence developed by Shurf Joe. To all of Gal-oops claims I would call his attention to the Hawaii Verification of Birth for Barack Obama.That one document blows a huge hole in “Pastor” Gal-oops arguments.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u1tfoLS8wfc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Du1tfoLS8wfc

    The birthers have a ready answer. Alvin Onaka, the Hawaii Registrar who issued those three letters of verification is a part of the conspiracy. The letters are simply confirming forgery and fraud.

  35. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater December 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Curious George:
    Speaking about Shurf Joe and his various escapades, our good friend Carl Gal-oops has made yet another You-tube that I found over at BR. He states that there is no proof that Obama was even born in America, among other claims about the irrefutable evidence developed by Shurf Joe. To all of Gal-oops claims I would call his attention to the Hawaii Verification of Birth for Barack Obama.That one document blows a huge hole in “Pastor” Gal-oops arguments.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u1tfoLS8wfc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Du1tfoLS8wfc

    Well he also ignores the birth index data, the birth announcements, the 1961 INS Data and the 1967 state department memo all verifying the Hawaiian birth. Obviously this has to be a 50+ year conspiracy that doesn’t seem to have a purpose.

  36. avatar
    Curious George December 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Joey:
    “The birthers have a ready answer. Alvin Onaka, the Hawaii Registrar who issued those three letters of verification is a part of the conspiracy. The letters are simply confirming forgery and fraud.”

    To the birther drones I would say, prove it!

  37. avatar
    Curious George December 24, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Merry Christmas and have a Happier 2014.

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