Our VoiceNews & Politics

Arizona Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Arpaio Antics

Jill Garvey • Jul 05, 2012

It seems implausible that Joe Arpaio could do anything more to sabotage Arizona. But America’s most despised sheriff continues to shamelessly waste taxpayer money with his bigoted antics and cement his reputation as a delusional maniac.

Months ago, citing concerns by constituents (a rather small group of tea partiers), Arpaio announced plans to investigate the validity of President Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate. Long after a much ridiculed Donald Trump abandoned his publicity-seeking birther campaign, Arpaio was there to pick up the mantle.

Initially, Arpaio said the effort would be paid for with donations, but his Tea Party friends must have run out of money. Just Arpaio sent an “investigator” and one of his deputies to Hawaii on the taxpayers’ dime.

That’s just a drop in the bucket. According to the Huffington Post, “During the 16 years Arpaio has served as sheriff, the county has paid about $58.4 million in legal fees, settlements and judgments related to suits brought against the sheriff and his department, according to county records.”

Hate sure is pricey.

It’s not just Arizonans who are paying the price for Arpaio’s mad antics, it’s anyone who dares to affiliate with the sheriff. Recently, Arpaio headed to North Carolina to help Jim Pendergraph fundraise for his Congressional campaign. It didn’t turn out so well for Pendergraph; dozens of protesters showed up demanding to know what Arpaio was doing in North Carolina while hundreds of sexual abuse charges went un-investigated by his office.

The message was lost on Arpaio. Now he is promising to release “shocking” information on July 17 about Obama during a press event at the Sheriff’s office. This all might be laughable if there weren’t real lives on the line. Whether they be the Latino residents targeted by his “crime sweeps” or the people who will never see justice due to his negligience – the victims continue to pile up.

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