Update–Siouxsie Says, “Always Watch Your Back.”

A few weeks ago, Maricopa County made national news when a deputy swiped a public defender’s confidential document from her file while the public defender was addressing the court.  The courtroom security video caught the entire incident on tape.

For those that haven’t heard, Judge Donahoe ordered the deputy to hold a press conference and apologize or go to jail.

So what did the deputy do?  He organized a press conference, prepared a statement, and then he pulled a fast one.  Instead of apologizing, the deputy stated that he would never do so.

The deputy’s boss, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, stood by his deputy’s decision to defy the judge’s order.  (Sheriff Arpaio is at the center of a few other controversies, by the way.  One of which concerns allegations that the Sheriff forced a pregnant woman to give birth while shackled.)

The deputy self-surrendered Tuesday night.  Some reports state that he may be held until after Christmas.

The story doesn’t end there.  Apparently as a sign of protest, nearly 20 courtroom deputies that work at the Maricopa County Superior Court Buildings called in sick on Wednesday.  Later that morning, someone called in a bomb threat targeting public defenders.

Sheriff Arpaio denies that the deputy’s jail sentence had anything to do with the bomb threat or his other deputies’ absences.


~ by siouxsielaw on December 5, 2009.

3 Responses to “Update–Siouxsie Says, “Always Watch Your Back.””

  1. Again, nothing that happens in Maricopa County law enforcement circles suprises me much.

    (Who lived there, once)

  2. “For those that haven’t heard, Judge Donahoe ordered the deputy to hold a press conference and apologize or go to jail.” This does not accurately state the Judge’s Order. An apology was necessary, but not sufficient for the Officer to stay out of jail, which would have required Ms. Cuccia to accept the apology.

    The Officer says he is not sorry because he did the right thing. Whether or not what he did was right, any apology would be a lie. Wouldn’t it be wrong for him to lie about it now? Would such a lie be a crime or civil infraction (considering that it would be in response to a court order)?

    I find it remarkable that the Judge put the power to put and keep a man in jail in the power of a private citizen (Ms. Cuccia). Is it unusual for a private citizen to be given this power? Is it legal? I read a number of legal blogs and have seen little or no commentary on this point (even when I have raised it). The commentary I have seen, suggests that this will not hold up on appeal. (Reports in another blog show that the Officer’s attorney says he cannot file a viable appeal without the letter at issue, which he has now requested be released.)

  3. Sorry I forgot to mention the bomb threats: I have read a number of posts from which the reasonable inference is that these threats are from law enforcement personnel (including this one). I have seen nothing to show that there is substantial evidence to support that serious allegation. (Bear in mind all my knowledge is from the news and blogs). In contrast, the news reports show that the same caller made at least one threat before the Officer reported to jail. The Sheriff’s Office did not act on that threat because it was not specific enough. The subsequent threat(s) have apparently included enough specific information to require the courthouse to be evacuated once.

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