Fired Arpaio aide denies wrongdoing

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on May 4, 2011 at 6:03 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 17 at 11:59 AM

PHOENIX -- Longtime Sheriff Joe Arpaio aide Larry Black is denying wrongdoing after being fired by his boss in the wake of a damaging investigation that looked at misconduct by him and two other top Arpaio aides in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation, which was conducted by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, looked at allegations that Black acted unprofessionally, threatened subordinates, violated campaign finance law, and destroyed evidence related to a campaign finance investigation.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said Black and the other two aides under investigation, David Hendershott and Joel Fox, should have been fired a long time ago for their misconduct.

"We're not talking about I did any kind of crimes," Black said. "It's that I didn't fire this person when I should have or when somebody else thought I should have.

"When something has gone wrong in the administration, someone's got to fall, and political people do, and that's what I was," he said.

Black worked for MCSO for 35 years and said he will remain loyal to Arpaio.

"I'm still loyal, I can't sit back and bad-mouth him today," Black said. "I'm very disappointed in what's going on. I would have thought he'd have done differently."

MCSO has released more than 1,000 pages of the investigation report, but hundreds of pages are redacted, including the ones that look at allegations against Black.

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