Joe Arpaio
Joseph M. "Joe" Arpaio (born June 14, 1932) is the elected Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

 of Maricopa County
Maricopa County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*73.0% White*5.0% Black*2.1% Native American*3.5% Asian*0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.5% Two or more races*12.7% Other races*29.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 in the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 state of Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

. First voted into office in 1992, Arpaio is responsible for law enforcement in Maricopa County. This includes management of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is a local law enforcement agency that serves Maricopa County, Arizona. It is the largest sheriff's office in Arizona and provides general-service and specialized law enforcement to unincorporated areas of Maricopa County, serving as the primary law enforcement...

, county jail, courtroom security, prisoner transport, service of warrants
Warrant (law)
Most often, the term warrant refers to a specific type of authorization; a writ issued by a competent officer, usually a judge or magistrate, which permits an otherwise illegal act that would violate individual rights and affords the person executing the writ protection from damages if the act is...

, and service of process
Service of process
Service of process is the procedure employed to give legal notice to a person of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal...

. Arpaio promotes himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff." He is well known for his outspoken stance against illegal immigration. Arpaio has become a flashpoint for controversy surrounding Arizona's SB1070 anti-illegal immigration
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...


Arpaio was once widely popular among voters in Arizona. However, his popularity has waned since 2007, but remains positive among registered Republicans.

History and law enforcement background

Arpaio was born in Springfield
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield is the most populous city in Western New England, and the seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers; the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern...

, Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 to Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 parents both from Avellino
Avellino is a town and comune, capital of the province of Avellino in the Campania region of southern Italy. It is situated in a plain surrounded by mountains 42 km north-east of Naples and is an important hub on the road from Salerno to Benevento.-History:Before the Roman conquest, the...

, Italy. Arpaio's mother died while giving birth to him
Maternal death
Maternal death, or maternal mortality, also "obstetrical death" is the death of a woman during or shortly after a pregnancy. In 2010, researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, estimated global maternal mortality in 2008 at 342,900 , of...

, and Arpaio was raised by his father, a grocery store
Grocery store
A grocery store is a store that retails food. A grocer, the owner of a grocery store, stocks different kinds of foods from assorted places and cultures, and sells these "groceries" to customers. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are...

 owner. Arpaio completed high school and worked in his father's business until age 18 when he enlisted in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

Arpaio served in the Army from 1950 to 1954 in the Medical Detachment Division and was stationed in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 for part of the time as a military policeman.

Following his discharge in 1954, Arpaio moved to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and became a police officer, moving in 1957 to Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

, Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

. He served as a police officer in Las Vegas for six months before being appointed as a special agent
Special agent
Special agent is usually the title for a detective or investigator for a state, county, municipal, federal or tribal government. An agent is a worker for any federal agency, and a secret agent is one who works for an intelligence agency....

 with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics
Federal Bureau of Narcotics
The Federal Bureau of Narcotics was an agency of the United States Department of the Treasury. Established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of June 14, 1930 consolidating the functions of the Federal Narcotics Control Board and the Narcotic Division...

, which later became part of the Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

 (DEA). During his 25-year tenure with the DEA, he was stationed in Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and advanced through the ranks to the position of head of the DEA's Arizona branch.

In 1992, Arpaio successfully campaigned for the office of Maricopa County Sheriff. The voters of Maricopa County re-elected him in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.

Arpaio married his wife, Ava, in 1958. Together they have two children and four grandchildren. They currently reside in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Actions as Maricopa County Sheriff


In late 2008 and early 2009 Arpaio appeared in Smile...You're Under Arrest!
Smile...You're Under Arrest!
Smile...You're Under Arrest! is a reality show on Fox Reality Channel where individuals with outstanding felony warrants are lured into police custody using various fake scenarios....

, a three-episode Fox Reality Channel
Fox Reality Channel
Fox Reality Channel was an all reality television channel available on cable and satellite television in the United States. It was launched on May 24, 2005 and was owned by the Fox Entertainment Group. It featured many shows that were previously on the Fox network...

 series in which persons with outstanding warrants
Warrant (law)
Most often, the term warrant refers to a specific type of authorization; a writ issued by a competent officer, usually a judge or magistrate, which permits an otherwise illegal act that would violate individual rights and affords the person executing the writ protection from damages if the act is...

 were tricked into presenting themselves for arrest.

On June 9, 2011 Sheriff Arpaio was interviewed on Fox News on KSAZ-TV
KSAZ-TV, virtual channel 10.1, is the Fox owned-and-operated station in Phoenix, Arizona. It is owned by Fox Television Stations in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV station KUTP ....

 about a song on iTunes titled, "F#@K Sheriff Joe" by Contraband, describing him on his deathbed battling his own mortality.


Arpaio's practices include serving inmates surplus food and limiting meals to twice daily. He has also banned inmates from possessing "sexually explicit material" including Playboy magazine after female officers complained that inmates openly masturbated while viewing them or harassed the officers by comparing their anatomy to that of the nude models in the publications. The ban was challenged on First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

 grounds but upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a U.S. federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* District of Alaska* District of Arizona...


In February 2007, Arpaio instituted an in-house radio station he calls KJOE. Arpaio's radio station broadcasts classical music, opera, Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

 hits, patriotic music and educational programming. It operates from the basement of the county jail for five days a week, four hours each day.

In an ongoing case, federal judge Neil V. Wake ruled in 2008 and 2010 that the Maricopa County jails violated the constitutional rights of inmates in medical and other care related issues.

Tent City

Arpaio set up a "Tent City" as an extension of the Maricopa County Jail. Arpaio has described Tent City as a concentration camp. Tent City is located in a yard next to a more permanent structure containing toilets, showers, and an area for meals. It has become notable particularly because of Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

's extreme temperatures.

On July 2, 2011, when the temperature in Phoenix hit 118 °F (48 °C), Arpaio measured the temperature inside Tent City at 145 °F (63 °C). Some inmates complained that fans near their beds were not working, and that their shoes were melting from the heat. During the summer of 2003, when outside temperatures exceeded 110 °F (43 °C), Arpaio said to complaining inmates, "It's 120 degrees in Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and the soldiers are living in tents, have to wear full body armor, and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths." However, unlike the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 surplus tents used in Tent City, tents housing U.S. Army Soldiers in Iraq are usually air conditioned.

In 1997, Amnesty International published a report on Arpaio's jails which found that Tent City is not an "adequate or humane alternative to housing inmates in suitable . . . jail facilities." Tent City is criticized by groups contending that there are violations of human and constitutional rights. Those critical of Arpaio also point out that the vast majority of inmates within Tent City have not been convicted; rather, they are merely awaiting trial. Arpaio's claim that these inmates committed crimes, they argue, reflects Arpaio's contempt for the American Constitution and the explicit right it grants to a "presumption of innocence."

Volunteer chain gangs

In 1995, Arpaio reinstituted chain gang
Chain gang
A chain gang is a group of prisoners chained together to perform menial or physically challenging work, such as mining or timber collecting, as a form of punishment. Such punishment might include building roads, digging ditches or chipping stone...

s. In 1996, Arpaio expanded the chain gang concept by instituting female volunteer chain gangs. Female inmates work seven hours a day (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.), six days a week. He has also instituted the world's first all-juvenile volunteer chain gang; volunteers earn high school credit toward a diploma.

Pink underwear

One of Arpaio's most visible public-relations actions was the introduction of pink underwear, which the Maricopa County Sheriff's website cites as being, "world-famous." Arpaio subsequently started to sell customized pink boxers (with the Maricopa County Sheriff's logo and "Go Joe") as a fund-raiser for Sheriff's Posse Association. Despite allegations of misuse of funds received from these sales, Arpaio declined to provide an accounting for the money.

Arpaio's success in gaining press coverage with the pink underwear resulted in his extending the use of the color. He introduced pink handcuffs, using the event to promote his book, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America's Toughest Sheriff.

Selective Service registration and organ donors

In 2001, Arpaio was the first sheriff to require all inmates aged 18 and over to register for the Selective Service System
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

. Registration is required by federal law for all U.S. males between 18 and 26 years of age, as well as for resident aliens of the same age, regardless of their immigration status. Since 2001, a total of 28,000 inmates (including 9,000 aliens) have registered for Selective Service.

The Sheriff also started the "Have a Heart" program in which inmates may volunteer to be organ donors
Organ donation
Organ donation is the donation of biological tissue or an organ of the human body, from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplantation. Transplantable organs and tissues are removed in a surgical procedure following a determination, based on the donor's medical and...


Sheriff's Posse

Building upon Maricopa County's 50-year-old program, Arpaio expanded the all-volunteer citizen posse through heavy recruiting. The volunteers perform many duties for the sheriff's office:
  • search and rescue
    Search and rescue
    Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

  • emergency communications
  • prisoner transport
  • traffic control
  • backup for sworn deputies
  • office administrative duties
  • Holiday Mall Patrol (which provides motorist assistance and security for shoppers during the holiday shopping season)
  • deadbeat parent details targeting men and women with outstanding arrest warrants for failure to pay child support
    Child support
    In family law and public policy, child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship...

  • Assisting in immigration sweeps

In November, 2010, Arpaio created an armed illegal immigration operations posse, to help his deputies enforce immigration law. Members of this posse include celebrity actors Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal
Steven Frederic Seagal is an American action film star, producer, writer, martial artist, guitarist and reserve deputy sheriff. A 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, Seagal began his adult life as an Aikido instructor in Japan...

, Lou Ferrigno
Lou Ferrigno
Louis Jude "Lou" Ferrigno is an American actor, fitness trainer/consultant, and retired professional bodybuilder. As a bodybuilder, Ferrigno won an IFBB Mr. America title and two consecutive IFBB Mr. Universe titles, and appeared in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron...

, and Peter Lupus
Peter Lupus
Peter Lupus is an American bodybuilder and actor of Syrian ancestry. He attended the Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University, where he also played football and basketball, graduating in 1954...



Arpaio has been a controversial sheriff. Arpaio's practices have been criticized by organizations such as Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

, the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

, the Arizona Ecumenical Council, the American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Committee
The American Jewish Committee was "founded in 1906 with the aim of rallying all sections of American Jewry to defend the rights of Jews all over the world...

, and the Arizona chapter of the Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects...

. The editorial board
Editorial board
The editorial board is a group of people, usually at a publication, who dictate the tone and direction the publication's editorial policy will take.- Board makeup :...

 of The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

called Arpaio "America's Worst Sheriff". Controversial issues surrounding Arpaio have included allegations of racial profiling, in which the ACLU has sued the sheriff.

Unconstitutional Jail Conditions

U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake ruled in 2008, and again in 2010, that the Maricopa County jails violated the constitutional rights of inmates in medical and other care related issues. This ruling was a result of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, which alleged that "Arpaio routinely abused pre-trial detainees at Maricopa County Jail by feeding them moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food, housing them in cells so hot as to endanger their health, denying them care for serious medical and mental health needs and keeping them packed as tightly as sardines in holding cells for days at a time during intake."

In a ruling issued in October, 2010, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Arpaio to follow U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake's 2008 ruling, which required Arpaio to end severe overcrowding and ensure all detainees receive necessary medical and mental health care, be given uninterrupted access to all medications prescribed by correctional medical staff, be given access to exercise and to sinks, toilets, toilet paper and soap and be served food that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines.

Department of Justice Civil Rights Lawsuit

Since March, 2009, the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 Civil Rights Division has been investigating Arpaio amid accusations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures. The investigation has been conducted under the authority of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

, which forbids discrimination related to programs that receive federal funds. On July 7, 2009, Arpaio held a press conference, and announced that he would not cooperate with the investigation, either by providing documents, or permitting interviews with personnel. On September 2, 2010, the Department of Justice filed suit against Arpaio, to compel his cooperation with the investigation. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department stated that it was unprecedented for an agency to refuse to cooperate with a Title VI investigation, and that this is the first time the Justice Department has sued to compel access to documents and facilities. The suit was settled in June, 2011, after Arpaio allowed federal officials to interview Sheriff's office employees, and review hundreds of thousands of documents for the investigation.

Abuse of Power

In February 2010 Judge John Leonardo of Pima County Superior Court found that Arpaio "misused the power of his office to target members of the (Board of Supervisors) for criminal investigation."

In 2008 a federal grand jury began an inquiry of Arpaio for abuse of power, in connection with an FBI investigation. Arpaio is being investigated for politically motivated and "bogus" prosecutions, which a former US Attorney called "utterly unacceptable". Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon
Phil Gordon (politician)
Phil Gordon is an American Democratic party politician, and the 58th and current mayor of Phoenix, Arizona. He was sworn in as mayor on January 2, 2004.-Early life, education, and early career:...

 has called Arpaio's "long list" of questionable prosecutions "a reign of terror".

The targets of Arpaio's alleged abuse of power have included or currently include:
Phil Gordon, Phoenix Mayor;
Dan Saban, Arpaio's 2004 and 2008 opponent for the office of Sheriff of Maricopa County;
Terry Goddard, Arizona Attorney General;
David Smith, Maricopa County Manager;
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors;
Barbara Mundell, Maricopa Superior Court Presiding Judge;
Anna Baca, former Maricopa Superior Court Presiding Judge;
Gary Donahoe, Maricopa Superior Court Criminal Presiding Judge
Daniel Pochoda, ACLU attorney;
Sandra Dowling, former Maricopa County School Superintendent;
Mike Lacy, Editor, Phoenix New Times
Phoenix New Times
The Phoenix New Times is a free, weekly Phoenix, Arizona newspaper, put out every Thursday. It is the founding publication of the New Times Media , but The Village Voice is now the flagship publication of that company....


To date (July 10, 2010) of the above only Sandra Dowling has been successfully prosecuted. Indicted on 25 felony counts, Dowling eventually pled guilty to patronage for giving a summer job to her daughter, a single class 2 misdemeanor which was not among the original counts, although as part of the plea bargain she also agreed to recuse herself from the Maricopa County Regional School District. Dowling has since filed suit, alleging negligence, malicious prosecution, abuse of process and several constitutional violations.

Feud with Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Maricopa Superior Court

Over the two years prior to September, 2010, feuding between Arpaio and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas (prosecutor)
Andrew Peyton Thomas is an American politician and author. He served as the county attorney for Maricopa County in Arizona until April 1, 2010, when he announced his resignation, as required by Arizona law, in order to run for the office of Arizona Attorney General...

 on one side, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on the other side cost at least $5.6 million, most of which was paid to private attorneys. Arpaio and Thomas filed several lawsuits against the Board of Supervisors, including a federal civil-racketeering suit against the supervisors, four judges and attorneys who work with the county. Arpaio and Thomas lost every case, either by ruling of the courts, or by dropping the case.

In early 2010, Arpaio and Thomas sought to have a grand jury indict a number of Maricopa County Judges, Maricopa County Supervisors, and employees of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. The grand jury, in an unusual rebuke, ordered the investigation ended. This action has been described as meaning that "...the case is so bad, there's no further evidence that could be brought [to substantiate it]". Legal experts agree this is a rare move. Thomas and a subordinate attorney on his County Attorney staff face a hearing later in 2011 before the Ethics Committee of the Arizona Bar, the result of which could be a number of sanctions up to permanent loss of their law licenses.

In November and December, 2010, lawsuits naming Arpaio were filed by Judge Gary Donahoe, retired Maricopa County Superior Court judges Barbara Mundell, Anna Baca, and Kenneth Fields, County Supervisor Don Stapley, Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson, and Susan Schuerman, executive assistant to Supervisor Don Stapley. Conley Wolfswinkel (a business associate of Stapley) filed suit in January, 2011.
Other targets of Arpaio's investigations, including Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, and Maricopa Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson have filed notices of claims (the precursor to filing suit) totalling about $56 million dollars.

Election Law Violation

During the month of July 2010, a committee established by Arpaio, the Campaign to Re-Elect Joe Arpaio 2012, funded advertisements critical of Rick Romley
Rick Romley
Rick Romley , a Republican, was the County Attorney for Maricopa County, Arizona from 1989 to 2004. He is currently serving as Interim Maricopa County Attorney following his appointment to that position by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.-Early life:A veteran of the Vietnam War, serving...

, a candidate in the Republican Primary for Maricopa County Attorney and Arizona Attorney General candidate Tom Horne
Tom Horne
Thomas Charles "Tom" Horne is the current Arizona Attorney General. He served as the Arizona Department of Education Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2003 to 2011.-Early Life and Education:...

, despite the fact that Arpaio is not currently running for re-election (his term does not expire until the end of 2012).

An order issued on the behalf of the Maricopa Elections Department on August 24, 2010, found that one of the advertisements, a direct mailer, advocated the defeat of Romley, and was an in-kind contribution to Bill Montgomery (Romley's primary election opponent), in violation of Arizona election law. The order stated that the Campaign to Re-Elect Joe Arpaio 2012 will be fined three times the amount of money that was spent on the mailer. In September, 2010, Arpaio's campaign was fined $153,978 in this matter. Montgomery ultimately defeated Romley in the primary election, with Romley stating Arpaio's ads "hurt" his results.

Misuse of funds

An analysis by the Maricopa County Office of Management and Budget, completed in September, 2010, found Arpaio has misspent almost $100 million in taxpayer dollars over the previous 5 years.

The analysis showed that money from a restricted detention fund which could only legally be used to pay for jail items, such as food, detention officers' salaries and equipment, was used to pay employees to patrol Maricopa County. The analysis also showed that many Sheriff's Office employees, whose salaries were paid from the restricted detention fund, were working job assignments different from those recorded in their personnel records. Arpaio's office kept a separate set of personnel books detailing actual work assignments, different from information kept on the county's official human-resources records.

Arpaio used the detention fund to pay for investigations of political rivals, and activities involving his human-smuggling unit.

The analysis also showed a number of inappropriate spending items, including a trip to Alaska where deputies stayed at a fishing resort, and trips to Disneyland.

Separate investigations by The Arizona Republic uncovered widespread abuse of public funds and county policies by Arpaio's office, including high-ranking employees routinely charging expensive meals and stays at luxury hotels on their county credit cards.

The Republic also found that a restricted jail enhancement fund was improperly used to pay for out-of-state training, a staff party at a local amusement park, and a $456,000 bus, which was purchased by Arpaio in violation of county procurement rules.

Munnell Memo

In September, 2010, a 63 page internal memo, written by Maricopa Deputy Chief Frank Munnell, was made public. The memo alleged years of misconduct and mismanagement by Arpaio's second in command and other top MCSO officers, including the use of a public-corruption task force to conduct politically motivated probes into political opponents. The memo alleged that top officials in the MCSO "willfully and intentionally committed criminal acts by attempting to obstruct justice, tamper with witnesses, and destroy evidence." Arpaio forwarded the memo to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, requesting they conduct an administrative investigation. Former top MCSO staffers have claimed that Arpaio knew of the acts alleged in the Munnell memo, but took no action to stop them. Arpaio has not commented publicly on the allegations.

In October 2010, the US Attorney for Arizona confirmed that the FBI and Department of Justice have received copies of the Munnell memo, and are conducting criminal investigations into its allegations.

2000 election results

2004 election results

2007 Failed Recall petition

In November 2007 a group calling itself Arizonans for the U.S. Constitution and Recall of Joe Arpaio filed the paperwork to begin an effort to recall
Recall election
A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended...

 Arpaio and County Prosecutor Andrew P. Thomas from office for allegedly disobeying and violating the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 and abuse of power. Their petition to get a recall question for the two officials onto the next general election ballot failed when the group was unable to collect the more than 200,000 registered voter signatures required. In a survey taken by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication , is one of the 24 independent schools at Arizona State University and named in honor of veteran broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite...

, while the petition was in circulation, nearly three out of four respondents opposed the recall, and 65 percent of the respondents held a positive opinion of Arpaio.

2008 election results


  • Joe Arpaio and Len Sherman, America's Toughest Sheriff: How We Can Win the War Against Crime, (1996). Summit Publishing Group, ISBN 1-56530-202-8
  • Joe Arpaio and Len Sherman, Joe's Law: America's Toughest Sheriff Takes on Illegal Immigration, Drugs, and Everything Else that Threatens America, (2008). AMACOM, ISBN 0-8144-0199-6

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.