I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

S.O.P. for Arpaio: Arrest if we Protest

Not to be upstaged by a lawsuit against him, Arpaio had to drop this piece of non-information about Smith to the media today. Apparently he needed to remind us all that it's wise not to mess with this man unless you don't mind a SWAT raid on your home and a criminal investigation into your life and work, all possibly being conducted by officers more loyal to Arpaio than to the law. Sometimes he does scare me; more accurately, though, I find him deeply disturbing.

Which is all the more reason people need to keep calling him on his shit. We owe it to Wilcox and Smith - both of whom went out on that limb. Maybe Stapley too. Not to mention all the protesters and opposition supporters he's harassed or prosecuted.

Anyway, Wilcox and Smith have earned my respect by calling Arpaio out. He usually wins by wearing his opposition down, it seems, but that could just be PR. I frankly don't think he's going to get far trying to prosecute anyone with the county; it just looks too vindictive. And I think he's begun to lose too much power; Joe's about to go down himself, by the looks of things.



MCSO investigating Maricopa County Manager David Smith

Wednesday, August 19, 2009, 6:16pm MST

Phoenix Business Journal - by Mike Sunnucks

County Manager David Smith is included in some of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office inquires and investigations into county government, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday.

Arpaio said his office is investigating the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and county government on several fronts and some of those inquiries include the county manager’s office and Smith.

Smith has been county manager since 1994 and has become critical of Arpaio of late. The MCSO is investigating airport restaurant leases held by businesses owned by Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and helped secure 2008 indictments against Supervisor Don Stapley over disclosure of real estate development and business deals.

Wilcox says Arpaio is investigating her because of her opposition to this hard-line immigration policies and Stapley denies wrongdoing. The Sheriff says his office received information prompting the Wilcox investigation.

The sheriff would not say specifically what the MCSO is looking at in terms of Smith. He added just because someone is part of an inquiry or investigation does not mean they are guilty.

Arpaio said his office has several criminal and other investigations into parts of county governments, and he did say Smith and his office were part of that.

Smith and Arpaio’s critics among the supervisors have blocked insurance and operational approval for new transport bus bought by Arpaio with jail inmate fee funds. Smith also called the hard-nosed sheriff a “thug” in a recent Arizona Republic story. Arpaio says his office needs the bus to transport prisoners and replace older buses.

County spokesman Richard de Uriate said the MCSO has made public records and e-mail requests of 36 top and mid-level county officials as part of an unnamed criminal investigation.

“The sheriff might be referring to that. But the sheriff has threatened investigations on a host of issues in which we have policy disagreements. It is very disturbing,” de Uriate said.

De Uriate said the county is resisting Arpaio’s request citing costs, opting to fight it in court. He also notes Arpaio’s attorneys have said there was an investigation of Maricopa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Barbara Mundell.

“This is really SOP (standard operating procedure) over there,” de Uriate said.

The MCSO is fighting with the Board of Supervisors and Smith over the Sheriff’s office raid Aug. 12 and takeover of a $25 million criminal justice computer system shared by county legal and law enforcement agencies.

The MCSO said county officials were trying to make changes to the system without approval by partner agencies and they cited worries about system security.

County officials say Arpaio sent more than a dozen deputies to county computer rooms as part of the raids.

Former county school superintendent Sandra Dowling is suing the MCSO and Arpaio over a 2006 SWAT team raid of her home and offices. Dowling was indicted on theft and embezzlement charges but eventually only pleaded guilty to a nepotism charge. She also resigned her post.

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