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Crazy in Arizona

Let me start off with a fully-confirmed fact: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Mackiewicz was one of three people sent by Joe Arpaio to supervise confidential informant Dennis Montgomery in Seattle.

Then let us move from fully-confirmed to credibly reported. Brian Mackiewicz was called on the carpet for photographing corpse genitalia at the morgue and he took the wine country tour while on the county payroll babysitting Montgomery. You can read that in Stephen Lemon’s article at the Phoenix New Times.

Now for some unconfirmed speculation. This message appeared in comments at the Phoenix New Times web site:

Recurring rumor around the County that ex-commander Bob Rampey [sic] is working with the Feds on reopening the abuse of power case. Apparently he knows where all the ‘bodies are buried’, They attempted to silence him using their usual tactics of illegal search warrants and trumped up charges. Apparently they didn’t know that he recorded every interaction and even has shit on Montgomery. Crap is swirling in the toilet bowl around the county corridors.

Rampy was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to get access to 2 years of MCSO emails associated with the Melendres case. Maybe there’s a body there.

Rampy himself came under scrutiny from the Phoenix New Times back in 2011.

The trunk of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s clown car is now open and all sorts of crazy stuff is coming out. As for me, I’m now following @stephenlemons on Twitter.

Apparently, there is another status conference in the Melendres case tomorrow (May 14). I hope to have a report on that.

Read more:

10

Joe Arpaio: The steady drip

It’s not every court case where just the status conference makes the newspapers, but the trials and perils of Sheriff Joe Arpaio seems to be one of them. I’ve published several articles since the contempt hearing in Melendres v Arpaio last month, but the Arizona media has been, it seems to me, relentless. Here’s what I’ve found:

Date Source Article
4/19/2015 AZFamily (ABC 3) Sheriff Arpaio admits contempt of court
4/21/2015 AZCentral Arpaio VS Judge in contempt case
4/21/2015 KPHO Sheriff Joe Arpaio heads to court on Tuesday
4/22/2015 KJZZ MCSO Sergeant: Sheriff Arpaio Violated Court Order On Immigration Enforcement
4/22/2015 KPHO The contempt of court hearing for Sheriff Joe Arpaio continues
4/22/2015 Phoenix New Times Sheriff Joe Arpaio is “Done,” Says Arpaio’s Former Top Aide, Book Writer Brian Sands
4/23/2015 AZCentral Actually, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s week CAN get worse
4/23/2015 KJZZ Arpaio Takes the Stand in Contempt of Court Case
4/23/2015 KJZZ Arpaio Admits To Secret Investigation Of Judge’s Wife
4/23/2015 AZCentral Arpaio takes stand in contempt hearing
4/23/2015 AZCentral Is Sheriff Joe Arpaio having his Evan Mecham moment?
4/23/2015 AZCentral Arpaio admits he hired PI to investigate judge’s wife
4/23/2015 AZCentral Arpaio investigates his enemies? Say it isn’t so!
4/23/2015 AZCentral You know you’ve lost it when you start spying on the judge’s wife
4/23/2015 AZCentral A tale of 2 Arpaios: Sheriff Joe takes the stand
4/23/2015 AZFamily (ABC 3) Arpaio shifts blame over disobeying court order
4/23/2015 AZFamily (ABC 3) Arpaio’s federally appointed monitor addresses community
4/23/2015 AZFamily (ABC 3) Arpaio  testifies in racial-profiling case
4/23/2015 KPHO Sheriff Joe Arpaio will be back on the witness stand
4/23/2015 Phoenix New Times Noose Tightens Around Arpaio’s Neck as He Channels Ronnie Reagan in Day Two of Contempt Trial
4/24/2015 AZCentral Contempt hearing unmasks Joe Arpaio
4/24/2015 KJZZ Arpaio’s Admission Of Investigation Into Judge’s Wife Stuns Courtroom
4/24/2015 AZCentral Top Arpaio aide Jerry Sheridan: I did not defy court
4/24/2015 AZCentral Arpaio’s top aide accused of lying to court monitor
4/24/2015 AZCentral Arpaio’s court performance is almost pitiable. Almost
4/24/2015 KPHO Arpaio admits to hiring private agents to investigate judge’s wife
4/24/2015 Phoenix New Times Arpaio Will Continue to Defy Judge Snow Until He’s Held in Contempt
4/24/2015 Phoenix New Times Arpaio Cops to Investigating Federal Judge, Judge’s Wife, Confirming New Times Story
4/25/2015 KPHO Sheriff Joe Arpaio was concerned about CIA wiretaps on MCSO phones
4/25/2015 KJZZ Sheriff Arpaio’s Chief Deputy: We Did Not Investigate Judge’s Wife
4/25/2015 KJZZ Arpaio’s Second-In-Command Testifies In Contempt Hearing
4/25/2015 AZCentral Arpaio civil-contempt hearing recap: Case of surprises
4/25/2015 AZFamily (ABC 3) Sheriff Arpaio contempt hearing
4/25/2015 Phoenix New Times Arpaio’s Chief Deputy Confirms Wack Investigations of Judge’s Wife, CIA, DOJ, etc.
4/27/2015 AZCentral Check under rocks for Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s ‘friends’
4/27/2015 AZCentral Snow vs. Arpaio is a battle of bullies
4/27/2015 AZCentral MCSO can’t rebuild trust with Arpaio in charge
4/28/2015 AZCentral Joe Arpaio’s no bully, his supporters say
4/28/2015 AZCentral Why we shouldn’t elect sheriffs
4/28/2015 KPHO Arpaio supporters backing away
4/28/2015 Arizona Star Arpaio immigration case attorney quits, citing ethical conflicts
4/28/2015 Phoenix New Times National Media on Arpaio Contempt Trial: Formerly Brash Sheriff Contrite on Stand
4/28/2015 Capitol Times Ducey taking wait-and-see approach on Arpaio contempt case
4/28/2015 Verde Independent Editorial: Latest news on Sheriff Joe is no laughing matter
4/28/2015 AZ Daily Sun Arpaio attorney quits two other cases
4/29/2015 ABC15 Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawyers object to judge’s line of questioning
4/29/2015 AZ Daily Wildcat Column: Sheriff Joe has finally gone too far
4/29/2015 KJZZ Revelation that Sheriff Arpaio Hired Informant for CIA Investigation Raises New Legal Questions
4/29/2015 KJZZ Attorneys Debate Judge’s Questioning of Arpaio on Secret Investigations
4/29/2015 KJZZ Was It Ethical For Sheriff Arpaio To Investigate Comments By Judge’s Wife?
4/29/2015 AZCentral Arpaio objects to judge’s questioning on wife investigation
4/30/2015 KTAR Attorney requests withdrawal from Sheriff Joe Arpaio contempt case
4/30/2015 AZCentral Plaintiffs’ attorneys: OK for judge to question Arpaio
4/30/2015 KPHO Arpaio’s contempt hearing reveals MCSO hiring of known con artist
5/1/2015 KJZZ Plaintiffs in Arpaio Contempt Case Want to Question Sheriff’s Lawyers
5/4/2015 AZCentral Sheriff Arpaio still getting money for nothing (good)
5/5/2015 ABC15 Judge brushes away Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s objection to questioning
5/6/2015 Phoenix New Times Arpaio Sought Assistance From Former AG Tom Horne’s Office in Dealing With Confidential Informant
5/6/2015 AZCentral Arpaio, martyr to the rule of law? Oh, come on!
5/7/2015 AZCentral Arpaio’s legal fate hinges on intent
5/7/2015 AZCentral Attorneys prep for 2nd bout of Arpaio contempt hearings in June
5/8/2015 AZCentral Is Arpaio pulling his lawyers into the quicksand?
5/8/2015 KJZZ Man Sheriff Joe Arpaio hired to Investigate Federal Agencies Tries to Intervene in Contempt Case
5/8/2015 KPHO Possibility of 2nd trial raised in Arpaio’s profiling case
5/8/2015 KJZZ Judge: Arpaio’s Attorney Must Consult CIA on Paid Informant’s Data Dump
5/8/2015 KJZZ Judge in Arpaio Contempt Case Asks About False Evidence
5/8/2015 KJZZ Judge Murray Snow Stands By Questioning Of Sheriff Joe Arpaio
5/8/2015 AZCentral Judge labels Arpaio ‘domestic enemy’
5/8/2015 AZCentral MCSO, Arpaio case: More victims? New trial? CIA Review?
5/8/2015 AZCentral How Mexican food drew couple into heart of Arpaio case
5/11/2015 Phoenix New Times Most Voters Have an Unfavorable View of Joe Arpaio, Poll Shows

Whether from the media coverage or substantive differences, the most recent polling shows Sheriff Joe’s disapproval exceeds his approval.

17

Arpaio: perjury?

imageStephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times used the “p” word in his article yesterday, “Judge Snow Rips the Lid Off an MCSO Riddled With Corruption, Confirming My Reporting in the Process.”

Lemons reported last June that Arpaio was paying a confidential informant big bucks to investigate an alleged conspiracy involving the Justice Department and federal judge G. Murray Snow. In testimony last week Sheriff Arpaio and Chief Deputy Sheridan confirmed the payments and the investigation. Sheridan further admitted that they got nothing useful from the informant, Dennis Montgomery, and that Montgomery was just stringing them along.

What Arpaio and Sheridan said in court was that he was investigating an allegation that the CIA had accessed 50,000 individual bank records in Maricopa County and that there was some wrongdoing involving the Justice Department and federal judges, but that Judge Snow’s inclusion in the investigation was incidental. So was the investigation of Snow central or tangential—targeted or coincidental? Lemons wrote:

My information always has been that Arpaio was up to his old tricks, attempting to conflict the judge, find dirt on him, and retaliate for adverse rulings.

A second point of conflict between Arpaio’s testimony and Lemon’s information is about who investigated the Judge’s wife. According to testimony, Arpaio attorney Tim Casey hired the investigator. Casey issued a statement that seems to contradict that. Lemons reported that the County Attorney’s Office was somehow involved.

So far Lemons has proven to be the more reliable source for what’s going on. I hope we’ll know a lot more when court hearings resume next June.

See also:

Universe-shattering investigation revealed in court testimony Friday

It was somewhat of an anticlimax when Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan revealed in federal court Friday details of the “universe shattering” investigation Mike Zullo hinted about a year and a half ago. We already knew much of the story. Let’s view the facts chronologically.

Mike Zullo was the one who exposed the universe-shattering investigation in November, 2013. Carl Gallups tweeted:

Zullo spoke to the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots about that time. Sharon Rondeau interviewed an attendee:

Zullo “said that the investigation that they started ‘turned very dark…’

We can place a proximate time on the start of the investigation from a confidential informant inside the Sheriff’s Office. Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times newspaper wrote (in June 2014) that he had discovered:

My sources — one of whom is a former detective with the MCSO’s Special Investigations Division and is well-acquainted with SID and those in it — say Anglin and Mackiewicz were involved in an odd investigation dating back to October 2013.

Zullo, Anglin and Mackiewicz were the team working on the universe shattering investigation of some really deep, dark stuff. Zullo himself confirmed this the following February, 2014, that two MSCO deputies were involved in the secret investigation with Zullo. Zullo said:

You’re correct, Carl. I don’t know how this is all gonna play out. I know that the criminal investigation that we’re working on now, Sheriff Arpaio has dedicated resources in two full-time Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detectives. These are seasoned pros that are working this. These are the guys that go hunt down the really bad guys.

Notice that Zullo said “we” on the Carl Gallups radio show, and for that story I refer readers to Mitch Martinson’s February 10, 2014, article at Arizona’s Politics, “BREAKING: MCSO Confirms Sheriff Arpaio Now Has 2 FT Detectives Working On Investigation Related To President Obama Birth Certificate Investigation.” Zullo had made the claim of the two deputies, and Martinson got confirmation from the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office, who had referred Martinson to Zullo for more information:

We have two Sheriff’s detectives assigned to look into other issues surrounding the birth certificate, however they are not investigating the birth certificate issue itself.

But then the Sheriffs Office walked back that confirmation, correcting it to say:

MCSO Lt. Brandon Jones states that he “was misinformed” when he had confirmed the information earlier.  He now states that “The detectives are not working on anything regarding the birth certificate. Not even surrounding. Mr. Zullo was incorrect, they are working on other sensitive cases not even related.”

I glean two facts from this series of statements: 1) Two deputies were working on a sensitive investigation with Mike Zullo was involved and 2) it had nothing to do with Obama’s identity documents.

Now, to the investigation.

Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times uncovered much of the story in June of 2014. He disclosed that a notorious scammer, Dennis Montgomery, was the confidential informant driving the investigation. Montgomery bilked the Pentagon out of millions with claims that he had computer software that could determine the geographic coordinates of terrorist attacks using bar codes he claimed to find in noise from Al Jazeera TV broadcasts.

Starting around the time of that disclosure, we heard not a single word more from Zullo about the universe-shattering information and the deep dark investigation. The scam had been exposed.

Now for what was disclosed in court:

Deputy Sheridan, himself a subject of the contempt hearing, confirmed what Sheriff Arpaio said Thursday about the Seattle scammer-sourced investigation, but added (as reported by Lemons at the Phoenix New Times):

The chief deputy initially told the court, under questioning by defendants’ attorney Michelle Iafrate, that Montgomery had info about “computer tampering crimes” and purported to have evidence that the CIA had “hacked into 50,000 bank accounts in Maricopa County, and had the names and dollar amounts.”

and

Montgomery told them he had data left over from his time doing work for the government, which the pseudo-guru promised he could “mine” with “super computers.”

So there you have it (and read the Lemons article for more detail). Scammer Montgomery claimed that he had data that, with the help of super computers,” could dig out secret information tying the CIA, the Justice Department and the federal courts in a grand criminal conspiracy. This was to be the universe-shattering story that Zullo couldn’t keep in his pants.

What happened to the investigation? Sheridan tells us the rest of the story:

But Montgomery ultimately gave them nothing usable.

“We finally realized he was stringing us along,” said Sheridan.

Zullo spent time, along with MCSO deputies in Seattle in a condo they rented for Montgomery. It has been estimated that between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in public funds were wasted for Montgomery, the deputies, Zullo, the condo and computer equipment. It was all a con job, but Sheriff Joe and Mike Zullo fell for it.

The great universe-shattering investigation was just a scam.

Further reading:

PS: I had previously thought that Montgomery had offered some birther tidbit to entice Zullo alongside his attempt to find dirt on Eric Holder for Arpaio. There is no justification for this speculation. The investigation as disclosed by Sheridan fits what Zullo said and did. It was just me and the birthers who jumped to the conclusion that Zullo said something that he really didn’t say.

Mike Zullo: on the court’s radar

We never expected the Zullo inquisition, but Mike Zullo is now tied up with Joe Arpaio’s contempt proceeding before federal judge G. Murray Snow in Phoenix.

ZulloRadar

Mike Zullo and two Maricopa County deputies traveled to Seattle to meet with a known con man, Dennis Montgomery. Arpaio admitted in court yesterday that Montgomery was to supply information on federal judges, including Judge Snow. Snow examined Arpaio closely yesterday, with a copy of the Stephen Lemons article from June of last year, exposing the trip. Judge Snow ordered that the Sheriff’s Office and the Cold Case Posse not destroy any records relating to communications with Montgomery.

Zullo, happy to give affidavits in out of state cases, blew off subpoenas from Orly Taitz in birther lawsuits. It is an Obot’s web dream to see Zullo testify under oath. Will he say that public funds went to a con man to investigate the judge in Arpaio’s case, or will he say that the money was funding the Cold Case Posse’s “universe shattering” investigation of Barack Obama’s birth certificate?

Former trusted aid says Arpaio is done for

Brian Sands, former Deputy Chief of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and author of an exposé of the top management of the Department, “Arpaio De Facto Lawman” (now out in a 2nd edition), says Arpaio is “done” and won’t be re-elected in 2016. This is reported by the Phoenix New Times today.

When I started this story, the next section was going to be devoted to character assassination from Arpaio supporters against Sands, but my searches so far found that the usual supporters of Arpaio have little or nothing to say about Sands. There’s not even an article mentioning him at Gerbil Report™.

Sands describes the legal action by Arpaio attempting to overturn Obama Administration immigration policy as a “stupid-ass lawsuit.” Smart guy.