Sheriff Joe Wants to Know


America's Worst Sheriff (is that not his nickname? I'll coin it anyway) Joe Arpaio doesn't like being criticized.

Arpaio began sponsoring "crime suppression sweeps" earlier this year, bringing hundreds of deputies and volunteer posse members to heavily Hispanic areas. Residents were pulled over for minor traffic offenses and questioned about their immigration status.

[Phoenix Mayor Phil] Gordon decried the practice in a series of high-profile speeches, beginning with the Chavez lunch in March. "The posse didn't lock up murderers," Gordon noted at the luncheon, correctly. "They locked up people with broken tail lights."

Arpaio's response?

Four week after Gordon's widely publicized denunciation… sheriff's deputies fired off a public-records request seeking the mayor's e-mails, cell phone records, and meeting calendar.

The letter also demands e-mail correspondence for Police Chief Jack Harris, City Manager Frank Fairbanks, and all of Gordon's administrative staff. In all, the sheriff's investigators are seeking every single e-mail written by more than a dozen Phoenix staffers, from November to the date of the sheriff's demand.

The rationale given by Arpaio is that he's going to do his own investigation of the posse. No one believes this, obviously.