Beneath the device of a sarcastic headline (not included here), the Arizona Republic provides “My Turn” space for Jerry Sheridan, chief deputy of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to respond to the incessant assaults on the integrity of career law enforcement officer and popular Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Sheridan, a 38-year veteran of the office, wrote the following in response to a recent editorial endorsing a newly minted Republican also ran.
Your recent editorial endorsing Dan Saban for sheriff of Maricopa County (“Sack Sheriff Joe Arpaio — and vote Dan Saban instead, July 31) was sad, but not surprising. As is typical, it read more like a liberal blog than a serious opinion from our state’s largest newspaper.
As chief deputy, I am deeply offended that The Republic would impugn the reputations of so many dedicated and faithful law-enforcement officers that make up the MCSO by taking cheap shots at their sheriff who has dedicated his life to public service.
The editorial board at The Arizona Republic knows full well that Saban does not stand a chance in this primary campaign, and upon defeat will immediately run to Paul Penzone’s side to endorse him just as he did four years ago.
In the general election, The Republic will undoubtedly endorse our opponent, which means The Republic is willing to sacrifice any shred of integrity it has left to support both of these candidates. This, in contrast to Sheriff Arpaio, who not only has more experience than any other candidate but has successfully led this office and this organization of more than 3,400 employees for more than 23 years.
There is no mention of Sheriff Arpaio’s successful programs, saving taxpayer money by creating and operating Tent City or the millions of dollars the sheriff returns to taxpayers each year by operating under budget. Also curiously absent is the mention of the support he has from the 17,000 men and women in Arizona law enforcement who have endorsed his campaign for re-election. As a matter of fact, the areas the MCSO patrols are the safest in the Valley.
The Republic abandoned any sense of objectivity regarding Sheriff Arpaio a long time ago. Any real “extensive reporting” by The Republic would show that the MCSO, the second largest law-enforcement organization in Arizona which also runs the country’s third largest jail system, is a world-class operation that other agencies envy.
The Arizona Republic should be ashamed for printing this garbage, but sadly, your readers know this is only just the beginning.
The Republic endorsed problem-plagued and opportunistic party switcher Dan Saban. During his last attempt at running for sheriff, Saban did so as a Democrat in 2008. Arpaio trounced him 55.2% – 42.2%.
After years of nearly daily attacks on Sheriff Arpaio, employing biased reporting, vicious cartoons, skewed editorials and leftist columnists who don’t let facts get in the way of their agenda, allotting his chief deputy a constricted opportunity to reply isn’t evenhanded. It’s the newspaper’s typical, self-serving and condescending move, enabling the editorial board to point to Sheridan’s defense as evidence of fairness. It is not.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a solid conservative, has been treated miserably for doing the job he’s been repeatedly elected to do. He deserves our support again.