Removing Arpaio's brand when he's gone

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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

After 24 years, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has started moving his possessions out of his office. 

But it's what's outside the office that could prove a lot tougher to remove. 

Next month, former Phoenix police sergeant Paul Penzone will officially take the reins at MCSO. 

And when he does, Penzone faces the task of rebranding an office ruled by America's so-called "Toughest Sheriff." 

That includes erasing any evidence of Arpaio's name. 

And that doesn't appear to be a small task. 

Since taking office on 1994, Arpaio has plastered his name and image on anything he could. 

County signs, buildings, vehicles and even a tank all bear the Arpaio brand. 

There are also a boxing gym, a sign outside the sheriff's K-9 training facility and Tent City. 

It's unknown how many places the Arpaio name appears throughout the sheriff's office. 

County officials also don't know how long it will take to remove, or more importantly, how much it will cost. 

Longtime critics say it's time Arpaio's name is stripped away. 

"We have to send a message to the public it's over he lost," said former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. 

Wilcox is a fierce critic and target of Arpaio over the years.  "It's over so let's get rid of the Arpaio name." 

Arpaio's office never responded to a request to comment for this story. 

Penzone, who has shied away from the media recently, was unavailable for comment.  A member of Penzone's transition team said the incoming sheriff would move quickly.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods also said it was an important priority, but not a top one. 

Regardless, after Arpaio's name is gone, it will still be a very long time before it's forgotten.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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