Monday, June 16, 2008
Finally--someone who doesn't roll over, play dead and give away the store
Usually, an elected official will be cowed with the threat of being investigated by:
The Federal Civil Rights Office and
The Office of Equal Opportunity.
Hell, the California Highway Patrol has every officer fill out a daily form listing the age, sex, and race of every person CONTACTED--just to counter-act the POSSIBILITY that someone might accuse them of Profiling, being Racist, or prejudiced.
It is SO WELCOME to see someone FIGHT BACK!
Gordon thought he would intimidate Joe into halting Illegal Alien sweeps and silencing Joe about criticizing Gordon over his Sanctuary City Policy.
When Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon questioned in early April whether one of his staffers was inappropriately detained by sheriff's deputies because of her ethnicity, Sheriff Joe Arpaio responded with an investigation of his own.
It began at the mayor's office.
Aides of the top Maricopa County lawman made a sweeping request, asking for six months' worth of e-mail from the mayor, Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris and City Manager Frank Fairbanks that raised questions about Arpaio's motivations.
The blanket request took four city departments hundreds of hours of staff research time, has produced more than 10,000 pages of material and cost about $2,000 to process.
Sheriff's deputies did save taxpayers some money by using a scanner to copy the e-mails instead of paying 19 cents per page.
The request led to a tense situation last week between deputies, Phoenix police officers, city staff members and a reporter who demanded to see the records as deputies were taking possession.
Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott of the Sheriff's Office denies that the public-records request amounts to a political slap at the mayor's office.
"Absolutely not," Hendershott said when asked if sheriff's officials were trying to retaliate against Gordon for speaking out. "We had a fiduciary responsibility anytime someone of the mayor's position makes an official complaint to the (U.S.) Justice Department."
Gordon's letter requested a Justice Department inquiry into Arpaio's enforcement efforts.
On the third page of the letter, drafted on April 4, Gordon states that one of his staff members, who is Hispanic, was among a group of people detained by a sheriff's deputy for "off-roading" in a restricted area.
All the other members of the group were White, Gordon's letter states, and the deputy simply asked those people for identification and let them go.
"My staff member was asked not for her license, but for her Social Security card- and was issued a citation," Gordon states. "She was the only Hispanic of the six.
There is a growing sense in Arpaio's office that Gordon and other prominent Democrats are involved in a conspiracy to discredit Arpaio and the Sheriff's Office.
Arpaio doesn't deny the sweeping nature of the e-mail demand and how it might bolster that theory, although the staffer could have relayed the incident via a phone call or an in-person conversation - neither of which would be reflected in the records request.
"If it was just made up, I want to know that, too," Arpaio said. "If that (allegation) was made for other reasons, don't go using my deputies as a pawn in some political game."
Gordon is irked at the records request but stopped short of calling it retaliation for speaking out against Arpaio's tactics.
"I'll let people draw their own conclusions," he said.
But the mayor said one thing is clear: The records will almost certainly prove useless.
"It's wasted all these taxpayer dollars . . . for their own review of their own people," he said.