Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fox's 'toughest' sheriffs are also the most corrupt -- not to mention tough on taxpayers' wallets

-- by Dave

Well, for anyone who's watched the saga of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's corruption bubbling along, this won't be a big surprise:

On November 10th, Fox News released their list of America's "toughest sheriffs" on immigration, applauding local law enforcers who want to file suit against Mexico and are encouraging armed vigilante groups in their Counties to name a few notable mentions. Not coincidentally, those named are also America's Worst Sheriff's with Sheriff Arpaio at the top of both lists.

The Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona runs an unaccredited jail facility due to poor standards and is the subject of more than 2,700 lawsuits for civil rights and other violations. Additionally, he's the subject of a two year Department of Justice investigation and an additional criminal investigation for misuse of funds.

The other mentions on the list share a similar profile. Frederick County, MD Sheriff Jenkins is the subject of a one million dollar civil rights racial profiling suit. Similarly the Cobb County, NC Sheriffs earned a lawsuit when their "toughest" officers stopped a 23 year old Latino man riding his bicycle and beat him up, breaking his nose and eye socket in the process.

That's pretty much backed up by the latest revelations regarding Arpaio's corruption. Eric W. Dolan at Raw Story has the rundown:

A hidden computer database recently discovered in the course of a racial profiling investigation shows Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio misspent up to $80 million in funds intended for jail operations, according to Maricopa County supervisors and budget officials.

The hidden database contained payroll logs that detailed staff assignments and payments which were different than the staff assignments and payments reported in the official county-run database, they said.

"They've developed a system that basically tracks where they are working versus where they are being paid, and they did not update the official database, which led to the potential problems," Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson told The Arizona Republic. "I think they deliberately hid this info from us."

This is a guy Arizonans revere. His approval ratings this summer reportedly were around 70 percent.

Maybe it's something in the water. Or something like that.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

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