PHOENIX (CN) – For the eighth time in 3 years, Sheriff Joe Arpaio sued the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Arpaio claims his bosses unfairly subpoenaed him for records, and violated his rights with an “extrajudicial statement” stating that “the board has objective indications that public money may have been misspent. It seems odd that the sheriff does not want to be accountable and transparent in his office’s use of public money.”
Some background: Arpaio’s office arrested Supervisor Don Stapley “for alleged financial improprieties” twice, in December 2008 and September 2009, according to Arpaio’s complaint.
The sheriff adds that “in December 2008 and in March 2009, the Board spent some $14,000 to sweep for hidden electronic devices purported to be planted by the Sheriffs Office.”
Arpaio sued the county in February 2009, claiming that it “had unlawfully encumbered and transferred funds that it did not have the authority to encumber.”
Arpaio sued his bosses again in April 2009, claiming that the county had “unlawfully enacted a public records mandate limiting county officers from making public records requests” and had “exerted management control over a criminal justice information system which must be under the management control of a criminal justice agency.”
In his most recent complaint, Arpaio claims that the Board of Supervisors’ subpoena of April 23 this year unfairly demanded “thousands of pages” of records by May 7.
The sheriff claims that the subpoena was issued illegally because it did not give him the “right to object.”
Plus, Arpaio says, he was given only seven business days to respond, as he was not served with the subpoena until April 27.
The alleged “extrajudicial statement” came on May 18, Arpaio says in this complaint in Maricopa County Court.
Arpaio claims his attorney delivered a letter to the Board of Supervisor containing his objections to the subpoena, but instead of responding to Arpaio’s lawyer, the county gave his letter to the media, and Maricopa County Manager David Smith and county spokeswoman Cari Gerchick commented on it: showing bias against Arpaio.
Arpaio says the Board of Supervisors issued another subpoena on May 12 to him and to Loretta Barkell, his chief financial officer, “again failing to set forth all of the mandatory language.”
Arpaio claims the board also issued an unconstitutional order to show cause hearing for today (Monday, May 24). He claims the board never “attempted to hold any judicial proceedings” and does not have “procedures for ensuring that a fair and impartial proceeding is held.”
Supervisor Stapley will be the hearing officer at the order to show cause hearing, Arpaio says. The sheriff calls that a conflict of interest, as Stapley executed the subpoena and has called Arpaio “evil.”
Plus which, in March, Stapley sued Arpaio, Maricopa County and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, alleging false arrest and emotional distress. He demanded $5 million, according to Arpaio’s complaint.
Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff,” has clashed with his bosses, in court and out of it, for years, and has been criticized, and sued, repeatedly for his roundups of “illegal aliens,” and for conditions in his jails.
Arpaio seeks declaratory judgment that the Board of Supervisors’ latest subpoenas were issued illegally, and he wants the order to show cause hearing vacated.
Arpaio is represented by L. Eric Dowell of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart.
Arpaio has been sued at least 101 times in the past 5 years, according to the Courthouse News database.
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