Sheriff Joe Arpaio's top aide on leave, could be stripped of power

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PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's second-in-command could be stripped of his leadership role pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing.

David Hendershott is currently on medical leave, but his access to his official MCSO email account has been suspended, along with his taxpayer-funded car and phone.

The investigation was sparked by an internal memo that was written last month and made public last week.

In that memo, Deputy Chief Frank Munnell accused Hendershott of misconduct and mismanagement, saying that he has engaged in unethical and illegal behavior. Arpaio gave Hendershott, who has been in upper management at MCSO since the '90s, control over the day-to-day operations of the department back in 2008. Munnell believes, among other things, that Hendershott has created a hostile work environment at the MCSO, seriously damaging morale at the agency.

Arpaio gave Munnell's 63-page memo to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to investigate. It was Babeu who recommended Hendershott's access to certain department resource be stripped until the investigation can be completed.

The memo was also turned over to the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office, both of which are looking into alleged abuses of power.

In addition to Hendershott, Munnell's memo also accused Deputy Chief Larry Black and Capt. Joel Fox of engaging in similar inappropriate behavior. Both Black and Fox were placed on administrative leave last week.