Friday, October 17, 2008

Sheriff Joe is out of control

As it was reported on the Front Page of the Tribune and on the Front Page of the Arizona Republic today, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office raided Mesa City Hall and the Mesa Public Library at 2am yesterday morning looking for suspected illegal immigrants who were part of the company contracted as the City of Mesa's cleaning crew.

According to the story, the Sheriff's force was dressed up in riot gear and raided both municipal facilities looking for the suspects. I am not quite sure what they thought they would find, but its good to know that a mop-wielding man would have had no chance against the armed guard of assault rifles. Certainly a wise expenditure of public funds.

This is the event that breaks it for me. Sheriff Joe is out of control and his vendetta against Mesa and the people who oppose him is eventually going to get innocent people hurt or killed. You can look back over what I have written the past about Arpaio and I have always said that he should work with others and try to coordinate efforts. I also said that he was going to do what he wants and the only thing that he understood was force. All the while, I have understood that people love him and they are going to continue to defend him because, by golly, he was doing something about illegal immigration.

He is using shotguns to swat flys. Do you really think that this is about a few illegal immigrants who may or may not be on a City of Mesa cleaning crew? Not hardly. This is about Joe showing that he is in charge and that there is no one who can stop him. He is willing to go into City buildings whenever he wants and however he wants if it suits him. He couldn't call up Mesa or request the information during regular business hours? Certainly not a rational or affordable approach to solving problems.

How much did it cost the citizens of Maricopa County last night for this debacle? How many deputies worked overtime to strap on their gear and go along with the raid? If these were people already on duty, how many other crimes were missed because the deputies were off the street? What is preventing him from raiding the City of Phoenix next or your home?

I have no doubt that Mayor Smith was pissed off about yesterday morning's events. No warning and misinformation to the Mesa Police Department? Gathering troops with assault rifles in a public park, in a neighborhood no less, without giving anyone any warning? He is right, this is a public safety issue, and quite frankly, the public shouldn't feel all that safe when the Sheriff is around.

The simple fact is Sheriff Joe has a personal police force with which he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Its like his own personal gestapo, KGB or junta. Last time I checked, we live in a democracy with rules that were intended to prevent this type of behavior.


Exurban Jon said...

Great post! Arpaio has turned into Arizona's version of Huey Long. A populist poseur who will use police state tactics to work his will.

City Hall and the Library belong to every Mesa resident. What's next: mass home invasions?

All four Exurban League bloggers are conservative Republicans... and we're supporting Dan Saban this time around.

steve said...

I'm right there with you both! This time it went too far. This was a political move to take away from the recent murder that occurred under his watch. Total waste of resources and completely unprofessional of him to not notify Mesa official he was coming.

Alex P. Keaton said...

It's time to get rid of Joe. I backed Saban 4 years ago - I'm doing the same now. I'm a Life long proud Republican that couldn't be happier then to pull my first (and only) Dem vote this's time to elect a professional. It's time to elect Dan Saban.

Check out my site:

Thanks Mesa Issues,


Matt said...

Everybody is so hasty to jump on the band wagon and say that Joe is out of control.

It was probably a mistake to come in a 2 a.m.. But maybe 2 a.m. was a safer time than 2 p.m. when there are kids and others in the libary.

Joe had a tip, sent someone in under cover, got a search warrant and served it; maybe not in the best way but a judge gave him permission too. This is called checks and balance.

Do th Mesa police call ahead before serving a search warrant? I don't know of anytime they have and if they were would that be good practise. I would sure like a call ahead of time if I was a criminal, so I could get out of there.

Given Mesa's past history of problems with theft of parks money, sex scandels in the police department, just to name a few, is it unreasonable to think that maybe Lt. Pew is lying to cover his tracks.

Of course maybe the whistle blower does have a beef with the city. But there was an undercover officer who gathered information and luckly they were able to make most of the arrest off city property.

May now the city will do a better job of checking who is doing work on city contracts and what companies are telling them.

Just some food for thouht.

Bob said...

So...The sheriff gets a complaint of a violation of the law, and he acts on it. I know this is not what you're used to in Mesa, but, really, this is your complaint??

A law enforcement officer who actually enforces the law, who is also a politician that does what the people want should really be a good thing.

Why does this bother you so much??

And before you decide to vote for the other guy, you better find out who it is, exactly, that you are casting your ballot for. Dan Saban is a liar and a fraud, find the real truth at

steve said...

Matt- Mesa wasn't the lawbreaker here, the Management company was. There was NO need to raid City Hall except for Joe's agenda and press.

There is nothing about the raid that was safer. When you bring 60 police officers into another municipality unannounced, and then LIE to those cops, it creates problems.

Yes- EVERY agency notifies the jurisdictional agency of a warrant being served. It is normal police protocol that is followed by every law enforcement agency in the nation.

Joe still refuses to release (even after public records requests) the names of the 13 "others" arrested off-site. What does he have to hide? Could it be there isn't 13 others?

The City of Mesa did everything in it's legal right to ensure the employees were legal. It had a claim from a disgruntled employee (fired for sexual harassment) that the company had illegals working in City Hall, brought the company in and asked them about it. Key fact to remember, NO ONE WAS ARRESTED AT CITY HALL.

It's important Matt to know the facts.

Bob- the City of Mesa enforces the law just as much as MCSO does. In fact, the night of the raid they arrested 4 illegals (yes that's one more than MCSO did) using 1/20th of the resources.

Enaede said...

It'll be great to have a new federal attorney general in place who will put a stop to all this. January 21st!