I was chatting with some friends yesterday while we were volunteering at the Special Olympics, and the topic turned to football. Is it fair that a college football coach gets $6 million in salary while the college president gets a couple hundred thousand?
I suppose the relative value of those two positions can be debated, but both of those numbers pall in comparison with the amounts Maricopa County has had to pay out in legal costs and settlements because of Joe Arpaio and his office.
Published numbers just on the Melendrez case alone, the one ongoing where Arpaio will face contempt charges later this month, top $12.5 million. That is about what the County had to pay out for Sheriff Joe’s false arrests of political opponents in 2013. Those numbers don’t touch the settlements over wrongful deaths in Arpaio’s jail, reported at $33 million by station KPHO in 2014.
On top of that, the County agreed yesterday to pay out another $3.5 million (plus attorney’s fees) for a botched rape investigation by the Sheriff’s Office. That was part of the reported 400 rape cases that Arpaio’s office let slide while they put their resources towards arresting undocumented day laborers. In this case, the Sheriff’s office failed to investigate a rape, and the victim (a 13 year old girl) was raped again by the same person.