Is Sheriff Arpaio's political future at stake?

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Updated Thursday, May 26 at 9:15 AM

PHOENIX - In recent month the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has been accused of misspending nearly $100 million, allowing corruption and mismanagement to run rampant within the organization and failing to investigate hundreds of sex crimes cases. 

On Tuesday three MCSO employees were arrested for conspiring with drug cartels. Some wonder if the series of scandals is eating away at Sheriff Joe Arpaio's popularity.

"The Sheriff has been invincible politically, and maybe now he's not. That's the question that's in the air among political circles in Arizona," said Stan Barnes, a former state Senator who now does political consulting.

"Because there's been such a repetition of stories, different stories, the average voter notices a theme at the Sheriff's office, that something is not right," said Barnes.

In an interview with 3TV, Arpaio fired back at suggestions his credibility or political standing is at stake.

"I'm not concerned. We have problems? I will correct the problems," Arpaio said.

"I have polls, real  polls, that have me at 60, 70, 80 percent on the republican side," the sheriff said. "I don't need a poll, I'll tell you where my polls are. I go on a parade on top of my tank with thousands and thousands and thousands of spectators and I get cheering, standing up, that's my polls."

The sheriff says he's considering running for Jon Kyl's Senate seat, but if he doesn't run, he will "102 percent" run for re-election to MCSO.

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