U.S. Politics

Sheriff Arpaio hired former employee, convicted child-sex criminal, for armed school “posse”

Arpaio's posse via CBS 5 video.
Arpaio’s fit and nimble posse via CBS 5 video.

Unbelievable and outrageous on so many levels…


Our own Jon Green wrote in December about how, following the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, GOP Sheriff Joe Arpaio was going to have his 3,000-strong gun-toting “posse” of volunteers patrolling Arizona’s schools, just like the NRA wanted. (This article was co-authored by John Aravosis.)

Today we find out that the posse reportedly included at least one man convicted of sex crimes against children.  And even worse, and what no one has apparently yet realizedThe convicted child sex criminal posse member worked for Arpaio for years in the Sheriff’s office until he was arrested in 2009.

Are we to believe that Arpaio had no idea who this guy was?

Armed child-sex criminals roaming Arizona’s schools.  What could possibly go wrong?

What’s worse is that Arpaio has been facing heavy criticism for his alleged laxity on prosecuting sex crimes, particularly sex crimes against children.  From the NYT:

Sheriff Arpaio, the top law enforcement official in sprawling Maricopa County, is perhaps best known for his hard-nosed treatment of prisoners and his aggressive raids aimed at illegal immigrants. But it is his department’s approach to more than 400 sex-crimes cases that has Sheriff Arpaio in trouble.

His deputies failed to investigate or conducted only the sketchiest of inquiries into hundreds of sex crimes between 2005 and 2007, investigations by Arizona law enforcement agencies have shown. Many of those cases involved molested children.

And only today we find out that after a lengthy five-year investigation, Arpaio has decided that no particular person is to blame for “hundreds of botched sex-crime investigations by the Maricopa County sheriff’s special-victims unit.”  From the Arizona Republic, today:

A five-year investigation that produced nearly 10,000 pages of documents draws no clear conclusion on who is to blame for hundreds of botched sex-crime investigations by the Maricopa County sheriff’s special-victims unit.

The Sheriff’s Office on Monday released results of its long-running probe into why the unit mishandled sex-crime cases. It concluded that no single person was responsible for systemic failures that resulted in hundreds of cases being reopened.

Last year, an Arizona Republic investigation into the 400-plus reopened cases revealed that the Sheriff’s Office failed to adequately investigate reports of sex abuse and assault — in some cases never interviewing suspects or running background checks on known offenders.

Some sex-crime complaints were completely ignored. In other cases, files were later found gathering dust in a drawer or in a deputy’s garage. Those shortcomings, combined with lengthy delays in resolving cases, left alleged predators free to find other victims — sometimes for years.

So what happens?  The sheriff accused of having lax standards for investigating sex crimes against children didn’t do a sufficient investigation to weed out a school posse member who had a record of sex crimes against children.

The controversial sheriff has teamed up with actor Steven Seagal to teach his “posse” how to handle school shooting incidents, and liquor story robberies.  (Despite being 60 years old, actor Seagal claims to have “hundreds of thousands if not millions of hours into my weapons training.” I did the math.  A million hours would make Segal 114 years old.)  One presumes Seagal will be showing the fat old men how to do Aikido, when they’re not beating their wives, getting high, or committing sex crimes against children.

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