Anti-Arpaio protesters blame Chairman of County Board for meeting meltdown

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The goal was to draw attention and be heard, and by all accounts Randy Parraz and his anti-Sheriff Joe Arpaio activists were successful at Wednesday's Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The board was set to vote on a $3.25 million settlement for the family of Debra Braillard, who died in a county jail due to a lack of medical care. But it seemed because of the group, and their speeches and singing, there was no decision. Chairman Max Wilson put a stop to it all with the sound of his gavel.

The board tabled the issue and all the other county business on the agenda that morning. Wednesday night, Parraz was back outside county offices, this time for a candlelight vigil for people he calls victims of Arpaio's abuse of power. He says the group was there in support of the settlement and Braillard's family.

"We think they should get more than $3.2 million given all the pain and suffering they've been through," Parraz said. "Any delay in justice here is due to Sheriff Arpaio and his lawyers fighting tooth and nail for the last seven years."

He says his group isn't to blame for the abrupt end to county business. He puts that on Chairman Wilson.

"He chose to walk out of a meeting. That's just shameful, leaving that settlement on the table. That's not our fault, that's his. I can't force him to stay there," Parraz said.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office issued a statement, saying "Protesters gave a second-rate comedy act. Not only did they make themselves out to be a laughing stock, they disrupted the government process with their politically-motivated circus, impeding the Board of Supervisors' work."