Voicemail from chief MCSO deputy to Yavapai County attorney released

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Chief Deputy David Hendershot By Alicia Barron Chief Deputy David Hendershot By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – Conflict of interest and abuse of power are just some of the very serious allegations being thrown at elected officials by other elected officials.

This is especially the case in reference to criminal cases against the county board of supervisors.

The Yavapai County attorney is now a very outspoken critic of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk testified that she has felt threatened as a result and on Thursday 3TV got to hear the specific messages she is referencing.

Chief Deputy David Hendershot left voicemails for Polk after learning she would take her criticism of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to the public.

In the message Hendershot says, “If that in fact occurs I want to make it clear that we fully intend to let everyone know the complete dissatisfaction with your agency's handling of the case and the grave incompetence of Sheila Polk.”

Polk publicly accused both the sheriff and Thomas of abuse of power. She said, “I believe my exact words were ‘I was gravely disappointed in his abuse of power’.”

Polk was drawn into the Maricopa County drama upon agreeing to take on the Don Stapley case and all other ongoing investigations.

Polk says, “I had grave concern with the arrest of Mr. Stapley the second time. I had grave concerns about the filing of the Wilcox case.” Polk adds, “You don't use a grand jury to do a sweep into people’s lives hoping to find or uncover evidence of criminal conduct so that was an ongoing concern with Arpaio and Hendershot.

Thomas says the sheriff's office had already contacted him. “They indicated to me they were dissatisfied with how Yavapai County attorney handle matters sent to them and they wanted our office to prosecute the case and take back investigations.”

Thomas did and now the judge has yet to rule on Wilcox's defense motion to have Thomas disqualified from prosecuting the case. Wilcox’s defense hopes to have an independent special prosecutor appointed to the case.

The Pima County judge hearing the case has taken the issue under advisement but has yet to rule. By law he has 60 days before he has to come to a decision.