The news that local egocentric Joseph Arpaio will next year, at age 90, attempt to unseat our excellent, collegial, knowledgeable, experienced and totally engaged mayor Ginny Dickey is both laughable and cringeworthy.
After being defeated in a reelection bid for sheriff in 2016, losing the 2018 Republican primary for U.S. Senate and the 2020 Republican primary attempt to return as sheriff, apparently he thinks Fountain Hills is a small enough sandbox for him to dominate. Arpaio shares the exact personality traits, particularly arrogance and no accountability, of his beloved political twin, the king of Mar-a-Lago.
Under his reign, appropriated funds were improperly moved from patrol to pay for “sweeps” of landscapers, kitchen help and the Mesa City Hall cleaning crew. When he heard that the wife of Mesa’s mayor had spoken ill of him, he said “We gotta raid Mesa again.” The Associated Press projects that by next summer the costs to taxpayers from his racial profiling lawsuit will exceed $200 million. That’s in addition to millions for other settled or lost lawsuits from others whom he victimized as sheriff.
His ego even required spending tens of thousands a year on a clipping service to insure nothing published about him ever escaped his attention. A civilian publicity head was paid at the level of a deputy chief to supervise a staff of seven flacks and personally attend to his international publicity.
Retaliation is his favorite means of revenge on opponents or those “disloyal,” as many sheriff’s office employees unhappily learned. The last thing needed is for him to bring his recipe of fear, intimidation and retaliation to our Town Hall and wreck a town government of which he knows nothing. Were he to prevail, residents would be treated to his three Rs: Repression, regression and an urge for regurgitation.