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Arpaio squirms as hearing approaches

Arpaio squirms as the April 21-24 contempt hearing draws closer in the Melendrez racial profiling case. For the second time Arpaio pleads to avoid judicial scrutiny and the remote possibility of jail time. Arpaio and Deputy Sheridan are offering to donate $100,000 to a civil rights organization out of their own pockets, and a compensation fund of $350,000 from the County, a videotaped admission of guilt, and dismissing their appeal of the racial profiling decision. What are they trying to avoid that is worse than these (and the other) punitive measures they offered?

The Arizona Republic newspaper web site has the story headed by a timeline of Sheriff Joe’s immigration troubles starting in 2005 that I commend to interested readers.

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Arpaio’s millions

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.

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Is Arpaio done for?

imageJoe Arpaio is scheduled to be deposed under oath Wednesday in the Melendres v. Arpaio case where Judge G. Murray Snow is contemplating a contempt of court finding against Arpaio for willfully ignoring court orders to remedy racial profiling in his department. Arpaio has already admitted contempt in a previous brief, perhaps in hopes avoiding a future hearing.

I’m hearing quite a bit of back channel conversations that conclude that Arpaio is done for, and will likely resign. Certainly if I were a Maricopa County, Arizona, resident, I would be vocally expressing my displeasure with the leadership at the Sheriff’s Office and demanding a resignation. The County has already had $6.8 million in legal fees in just this one lawsuit. However, as I see it, Arpaio is their problem (the Court and the County), and they are the ones to deal with it. They know their interests better and the Court has the means to get at the truth.

A resignation by Arpaio makes a huge dent in birtherism, as it delegitimizes the Cold Case Posse and takes away whatever dim chance the birthers had the Arpaio was going to do something for them. I try, however, to avoid wishful thinking and favorable predictions unless they are sure things (like the Supreme Court not hearing a birther lawsuit). I don’t think this is a sure thing.

We probably won’t will hear much, if anything, from the deposition until the actual hearing in late April.

Arpaio seeks to avoid federal contempt hearing

Admits wrongdoing

FLASH UDATE: APRIL HEARING IS STILL ON!

According the Arizona Republic web site, Judge Snow says the April contempt hearing is still on. A settlement is possible if plaintiffs agree to terms, but the judge wants Arpaio to admit in open court his wrongdoing, and to pay money out of his own pocket.

H/t to the Stephen Lemons and the Phoenix New Times Blog for this story that interested readers will want to get from that source.

In a few words: Arpaio was scheduled to face a 4-day civil contempt hearing in April in the Melendres v. Arpaio case. The court ordered remedies after finding that Arpaio and his department were engaging in racial profiling. Arpaio has not obeyed the Court’s orders. Seeking to avoid a hearing (what Lemons calls a “de facto trial”), Arpaio has filed papers with the court “consent[ing] to a finding of civil contempt.”

Also get the story from KPHO in Phoenix.

Why the silence from the Cold Case Posse?

There could be some big announcements in the case soon and forthcoming.

— Carl Gallups
Facebook January 2013

Sheriff Arpaio & Mike Zullo Are Saying Investigation Press Conference Forthcoming

— Carl Gallups
— Freedom Friday February 2015

My habit is to goad the birthers by explaining the Posse’s years of silence, saying “they have nothing.” That’s true in the sense that it is unlikely that the Cold Case Posse, with no manpower to speak of, no resources, and no expertise, would scoop everyone else in the country in uncovering some infamous crime related to Obama’s presidency. My reason might apply to a real law enforcement investigation where standards of evidence apply, but what does that have to do with the Cold Case Posse?

Mike Zullo, fronted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, presented a raft of issues in his first two press conferences. The standards of evidence didn’t come into play in the selection of that material–arguments and evidence that utterly fell apart under scrutiny. Looking behind the curtain, we found conspiracy theorist author Jerome Corsi feeding much of the bogus evidence. We still don’t know how the fake race code table from the Daily Pen Blog made it to the Posse, but we know Corsi had a hand in getting a bogus confirmation of it. Even with Corsi apparently out of the birth certificate business, there must still be many birther sleuths with their own pet theories being sent to Mike Zullo. I cannot believe that the absence of a third press conference can be attributed to a lack of material. As we know, birthers believe anything, and Zullo is easily fooled. I suppose it is possible that Mike Zullo is too busy pursuing other ways of making a living, to assemble a presentation with the appropriate official-sounding trappings.

In my mind, a strong contender for an explanation is to avoid embarrassing questions. Since the 2nd press conference, two mini scandals arose: Zullo’s acceptance of $10,000 for his personal use from a birther who was also supplying material to the Posse’s investigation, and the disclosure that Arpaio had paid over $100,000 to a con man for evidence supposedly related to the Justice Department (I think this was the source of the universe-shattering revelation that fizzled). If a press conference were held, hard questions about these would certainly be appropriate.

While I think it unlikely, it is conceivable that members of Arpaio’s staff, some of whom are serious professionals, have counseled the Sheriff about the poor quality of the Cold Case Posse work product and that Arpaio has required that any new material be vetted by real detectives. That would effectively screen out anything birther.

It might be that yet another press conference, followed by no indictment, would highlight for the birthers the futility of the entire exercise.

One final possibility is that the difficult situation Arpaio faces with a federal judge scrutinizing his department, and threatening contempt of court against Arpaio, might have convinced him that now is the time to keep his head down and not make bogus accusations against the President.

Whatever the underlying reasons, I think that the most reasonable explanation for the silence is that Joe Arpaio considers it not to his political advantage that a press conference be held.

(I’m assuming that no press conference is actually forthcoming. If it really were forthcoming, then the appropriate thing would be to announce the press conference and give a date.)


The full Gallups quote from 2013 is:

PPS has been in direct contact with the Sheriff Arpaio investigation. We have just again been assured by Lt. Mike Zullo lead investigator that the investigation and potential angles of prosecution are still going full steam ahead. Just because it’s not in the news right now does not mean they are not feverishly working on the matter. There could be some big announcements in the case soon and forthcoming.

The Brian Reilly resignation letter

I have said on several occasions that I had read Brian Reilly’s letter of resignation from the Cold Case Posse. I never shared the letter because it was provided “off the record.” I take such confidences seriously, and so I publish it now only with Brian Reilly’s permission. Here is the PDF, exactly as Mr. Reilly sent it to me.

Mike Zullo’s sometime spokesperson Carl Gallups said on his Freedom Friday program last November, and on the Internet, that Brian Reilly was fired by Zullo. Zullo himself seems to contradict this in interviews with Mark Gillar and Peter Boyles, but nevertheless the consensus among the birthers is that Reilly was indeed fired. It was published on the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots site, for example, and Falcon from Birther Report made two comments just this past week:

Brian Reilly was under a previous or current criminal investigation. He failed to disclose that to Zullo who fired him.

Reilly never disclosed to anyone his current / previous history – that was discovered outside of his CCP involvement.

Falcon explains the source for that comment in this post at Conservative Victory News aka Navy Gentlemen:

I can’t tell you everything, but I had an encounter in the last few days with a person in the CCP – online. Not nice. Could have sparked it all. Brutal. And it’s online and in my comment stream. Check it. Look around page 9/10 due to new comments it could change.

Zullo himself made a similar statement, according to a transcript on the PPSIMMONS web site:

PPSN: In your opinion, did Mr. Reilly make any other false claims in the interview, or leave out any other important information pertinent to the interview?

ZULLO: Absolutely. Mr. Reilly also failed to mention that he was a fired former volunteer law-enforcement officer.

Birthers later came up with a different story, that Zullo didn’t fire Reilly, but asked him to stay on because he was a loose canon and unreliable. Yeah, that didn’t make any sense to me either.

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