Thursday, December 3, 2009

Maricopa Meltdown

The big news out of Maricopa County today seems to be that there is no news.

Oh, yesterday's bomb scare ended just in time for there to be a big crowd gathered for the Adam Stoddard support rally, er, press conference. You know, the one where 150 or so of Sheriff Joe's folk gathered to proclaim that Stoddard had behaved exactly right because his eyes "glazed over" a piece of paper (after he removed it from defense attorney Joanne Cuccia's file because he hadn't previously inspected that page to see what danger it might pose the courtroom). During the glazing, he noticed the words "going to," "steal," and "money" - not as a phrase, but "grouped together," whatever that might mean. And although he had no business glazing at that page in the first place, he became so alarmed at the danger that paper posed to the courtroom (violent insurrection, perhaps) that he just had to take that paper and have a photocopy made.

They condemned Judge Donahoe who had held a three-day hearing and concluded that Stoddard had no right to take the page (which was really pretty much self-evident from the get go). And they said that they would "refuse to stand down" which is either a good thing a bad thing or neither or both depending on what the hell it means.

Deputy County Attorney Liddy, who is representing Stoddard, complained about the "political war" in Maricopa County, though the only side he condemned was the judiciary. Sheriff Joe chased his own tail on that metaphor.
"I do have a political prisoner in jail who happens to be my detention officer," Arpaio said.
What are we talking about? Ghandi was a political prisoner. So was Nelson Mandela. Depending on your point of view, maybe Leonard Peltier or Mumia Abu Jamal qualifies. Sadaam Hussein said he was. Patrick Henry maybe.

Maricopa County Detention Officer Adam Stoddard?

Well, who am I to argue with Sheriff Joe. If he says he's housing a political prisoner who's on his side in the uprising, I guess he is, though usually it's the other side that restrains the movement of the political prisoner. Of course, "housing" is surely the right word since there's no indication yet from the media that Stoddard is actually in custody. You'll recall that when he first turned himself in on Tuesday, Sheriff Joe's tough as nails deputies refused to book Stoddard in because there was something wrong with the paperwork. So Stoddard, making like Otis at the Mayberry jail, decided to stay anyhow.

Meanwhile, you'll recall that on Tuesday Sheriff Joe and the county prosecutor filed civil racketeering charges against the County Supervisors and a number of other officials, including the same Judge Donahoe who found Stoddard in contempt.

And today Sheriff Joe's chief deputy filed judicial complaints alleging bias and misconduct against four of the local judges - including, again, Judge Donahoe.

This would be farce if it weren't so damn serious.

And there's really no end in sight.

Today's news has been brought to you by Heat City, Simple Justice, the Arizona Republic, blogger Mike McClellen, and the Phoenix New Times.

No comments:

Post a Comment