Immoral conduct, wrongdoings in summary of MCSO report

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by Alicia E. Barrón and Stacey Delikat

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 28 at 9:37 PM

PHOENIX - A heavily redacted 300-page report was released Thursday by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in reference to a months-long investigation into two of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's former top aides.

The sheriff's office released a summary of the report which is reportedly over 1,000 pages in length regarding alleged abuse of power and misconduct by David Hendershott who was second-in-command at MCSO until his firing last week.

Numerous allegations of wrongdoing sustained in the report by investigators include ordering the surreptitiously videotaping of people at a campaign meeting for one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's political opponents.

Hendershott also allegedly mismanaged political-motivated investigations, he ordered a search warrant be written against the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors without probable cause and threatened to "machine-gun" subordinates who refused to do his bidding.

The report also includes that Hendershott displayed lack of professionalism and ethics by altering statistics and that he lied to Sheriff Arpaio about who ordered the arrest of two New Times executives.

Hendershott also allegedly behaved inappropriately when he unleashed a verbal tirade against an MCSO employee.

The report includes detailed first-hand accounts of one such tirade. "He turned absolutely beet red, the spit was coming out of his mouth, and just screaming at her, in only the way that Dave Hendershott can...I've never seen anybody treat anyone like that," another MCSO employee is quoted as saying.

The investigation was conducted by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office at Arpaio's request.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu called the findings "outrageous" and Hendershott's actions a discredit to law enforment.

"It was all about power," said Babeu, who commended Arpaio for "doing the right thing" by firing Hendershott and other top aide Larry Black.

3TV asked Sheriff Arpaio if he had been aware of Hendershott's actions but he said, "That's something I think will be made clear next week." More of the report is expected to be released then.

Arpaio also said he didn't believe the reports findings were a stain on his office. He did say, however, that after reading the report, he believed it was "time for a change."

Arpaio says he plans to name his new chief deputy next week.

 

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