Joe Arpaio is running for Mayor of Fountain Hills. His campaign literature tells of his work as Maricopa County Sheriff.
Arpaio doesn’t mention his judgment as sheriff. Court proceedings found Arpaio to have exercised poor judgment as sheriff.
Arpaio was being sued for civil rights violations. Arpaio was concerned about the federal judge handling the case. He was approached by an informant, Dennis Montgomery. Montgomery had a sordid reputation. He had conned federal security agencies into buying worthless internet message-decoding software.
Montgomery told Arpaio that federal officials were pursuing a grand conspiracy to “undermine” Arpaio. Montgomery had 50 hard drives of records “purloined” from the CIA. Would Arpaio like to have those records?
Did law-and-order Sheriff Arpaio alert the CIA to the stolen records? No. Arpaio paid “large sums” of taxpayer dollars to Montgomery for access. Examination by computer experts showed that the records were “fraudulent.” They were not CIA records. There was no grand conspiracy.
Arpaio had been duped. Did Arpaio request that Montgomery be prosecuted? No, again. That would expose the truth, that Arpaio accepted “stolen” CIA records and had been conned.
A judge disclosed all this in a 2016 court filing. He identified the reason Arpaio suppressed the incident: “Montgomery committed a fraud on the MCSO…The MCSO was a victim of that fraud. Disclosure could therefore bring embarrassment to Sheriff Arpaio and the MCSO.”
Arpaio continued paying Montgomery even after he became aware of the fraud. They shared the same attorney. Arpaio explained his actions. The judge found Arpaio not “credible.”
Arpaio showed poor judgment. He accepted “stolen” CIA records, tried to cover up his ineptitude, violated court orders and then lied. Whose judgment could be questioned – Arpaio’s or people who vote for him?