Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stopping Maricopa County’s Abuses of Power

By Dave Wells

In countries like Iran we regularly see dissent brutally crushed and political enemies jailed. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas are behaving in similar fashion. That’s why a federal grand jury is investigating Arpaio.
Arpaio and Thomas use their popularity and the cover of law to embark on a reign of legal intimidation. Except that, unlike Iran, they ultimately may be restrained by the very oath they are breaking -- that of upholding the U.S. Constitution and “to impartially discharge the duties of the office.”

The list of political opponents and retribution keeps growing. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, an outspoken Arpaio critic, was visited by sheriff’s deputies. County supervisors Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox are under questionable indictments. When Wilcox’s attorney, Colin Campbell, publicly rebuked the charges, he too was visited by sheriff’s deputies. Attorney General Terry Goddard, who might logically step in, is also a target of investigation by the sheriff and county attorney.

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