crimesider

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: "I'm not going to resign" despite probe that blasts his right-hand man

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces his plans for a crime suppression sweep in Phoenix on Thursday, July 29, 2010. The sweeps were delayed a few hours due to opponents of Arizona's immigration crackdown protests Thursday despite a judge's ruling that delayed enforcement of most the state's controversial SB1070 immigration law. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces his plans for a crime suppression sweep in Phoenix on Thursday, July 29, 2010.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces his plans for a crime suppression sweep in Phoenix, Thursday, July 29, 2010.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
(CBS/AP/KPHO) PHOENIX - Sheriff Joe Arpaio is used to taking heat - in fact, he considers it a badge of honor. But now America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff has more critics than ever getting in his kitchen.

They're calling for his resignation and indictment, and for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to be placed into receivership.

Arpaio is under fire over allegations that his agency misspent funds and a recent investigation that revealed evidence of corruption among his top commanders.

A federal grand jury reportedly has been looking into allegations of abuse of power by Arpaio, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and their employees since December 2009.

The U.S. Justice Department also is conducting a civil rights investigation of Arpaio's office and examining jail policies said to discriminate against people with limited English skills.

According to CBS affiliate KPHO, Arpaio's Chief Deputy David Hendershott resigned late last month, after an independent investigation concluded he had violated ethics rules, created a hostile work environment, and misappropriated funds. Hendershott was hand-picked by Arpaio to run day to day operations at the sheriff's office.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose office conducted the investigation, stated that he did not believe Arpaio was aware of Hendershott's wrongdoing.

When KPHO asked Arpaio if he ever considered resigning after reading the results of the report, he said he had not.

"I'm not going to resign as long as the people want me and elect me," Arpaio said.

As a result of the investigation, Deputy Chief Larry Black resigned along with Hendershott.

The investigative files and other materials were turned over to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which is conducting a wide ranging investigation into allegations of abuse of power by Arpaio, Hendershott and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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