Document-Swiping Deputy Drama Continues

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

When last we left the standoff in Maricopa County, Arizona, Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe had given Dep. Adam Stoddard a deadline by which to apologize for swiping documents from a defense attorney’s file in open court last month. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio vowed that Stoddard would not apologize. Stoddard then called a press conference Monday night in which he essentially thumbed his nose at Donahoe and continued to defend his breech of attorney-client privilege.

And since then? Yes, it’s gotten even crazier.

  • The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that Stoddard would surrender to jail ahead of his midnight deadline to aplogize. But when Stoddard showed up, the jail refused to book him, citing a “clerical error.” Stoddard insisted on spending the night in jail anyway.
  • Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced he has filed a federal lawsuit against the county and its judges, alleging a “widespread conspiracy” against Arpaio and his officers. Arpaio remarkably and apparently with no self-awareness whatsoever called the county a “good ole boys network,” and commented that he had “never seen these kinds of things occur in the justice system.” Arpaio also called Donahoe’s contempt finding against Stoddard a “vendetta,” and said, “For political reasons, [Stoddard’s] been thrown to the wolves.”
  • Yesterday, the day after Stoddard spent a night in jail, 19 sheriff’s deputies scheduled to work security at the courthouse called in sick, throwing the day’s court proceedings into disarray. The building also had to be evacuated after a phone-in bomb threat.
  • As crowds returned after the bomb threat was cleared, the law enforcement unions commenced with a conveniently-timed rally in front of the courthouse, calling Stoddard a “victim” and demanding that he be released from jail.

Once again, here’s video of the “victimized” deputy’s actions that caused all of this:

MORE: Stoddard’s fellow officers will be holding nightly candlelight vigils for their comrade—who, by the way, is being paid while he’s in jail. Actually, as the linked New Times article explains, it’s not even a certainty that Stoddard is actually in jail. No one is saying where he’s being held, and there’s apparently no record of him being booked.

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95 Responses to “Document-Swiping Deputy Drama Continues”

  1. #1 |  JS | 

    After a sneaky “clerical issue” the guys with the guns won the first round pretty clearly- 10-9.

    Round two saw them really bring it with not only a work stoppage but a shattering bomb threat and rally in front of the courthouse. 10-8 round for the guys with the guns. The justice system and rule of law are falling behind on the scorecards and may need a come from behind Knockout to win this thing. Its not looking good for the rule of law.

    On the bright said, popcorn stocks have been going way up even as the media pretty much ignores this bout.

  2. #2 |  fwb | 

    Bet the good Sheriff will want one of these after the feds get’em.

  3. #3 |  fwb | 

    The link to piece:

  4. #4 |  ktc2 | 


    No. Because:

    1) Due to an entirely made up “clerical error” that is almost certainly part of every other jail order issued by the judge’s rubber stamp over the last how ever many years and has never been an issue until it was a cop, the guy was never officially incarcerated.

    2) He was doubtless immediately assigned to some “work release” program run by Sherrif Joe.

  5. #5 |  Deputy Steals Defense Lawyers File - Page 5 - INGunOwners | 

    […] Sheesh. They need to fire them all and call in the guard till they can hire good cops. From The Agitator […]

  6. #6 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    I am a cynical ol’ coot so I have to ask this: how many of those good, good LEOs who are demonstrating, calling in sick, and phoning in bomb threats are members of Oath-Keepers? How many really do respect the rule of law?

  7. #7 |  ktc2 | 

    Good point #51!

    Where is the “vast majority” of “good cops” we keep hearing about?

  8. #8 |  George | 

    For whatever it’s worth many of the conservatives and libertarians have rejected Arpaio. When Napolitano ran for governor here, Arpaio — appreciative of the way she had wrist-slapped him earlier — appeared in a campaign commercial for her. When he ran again for sheriff two elections ago, some Republican organizations refused to endorse him. In my Scottsdale district, more committeemen seemed to oppose him than support him. Even so, a lot of Republicans, including many officials, support him because he remains extremely popular with the populist old folks. Unless you count populists as conservatives, there are not a lot of conservatives who like the guy. But it’s not strictly philosophy and politics — he just pisses off a lot of people who are active in government.

  9. #9 |  SusanK | 

    Where’s the video of the tearful wife who is struggling without her husband around? Or the crying mama and daddy of the “incarcerated” “officer”?
    Until I see that footage, I won’t believe he has spent any more time at jail than he did as a guard, let alone actually “in” it.

  10. #10 |  Matt | 

    Some things to bear in mind:

    That boy Stoddard is a meat puppet.

    Baron Arpaio Harkonnen is an irretrievable megalomaniac.

    Most importantly, don’t ever forget: “the rule of law” was used an excuse to lynch black people and load non-Aryans onto cattle cars at gun-point not so long ago. Be careful what you wish for.

  11. #11 |  Matt | 

    “Where is the “vast majority” of “good cops” we keep hearing about?”

    That’s a damn good question.

  12. #12 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    KTC2 and Matt: does it not depend on who is doing the defining?

  13. #13 |  Jim Collins | 

    [b]”We are a nation of laws, not men. If this thug won’t enforce the law then he needs to go – NOW. Concerned citizens should exercise all of their Constitutional and moral rights and should defend this judge and the rule of law.”[/b]

    I find this statement interesting in that it is being applied to Arpaio. I guess you get to pick and choose which laws get enforced. I seem to recall an outcry when Arapio was applying the Immigration Laws to illegal immigrants. Where was this statement then?

  14. #14 |  Dave Krueger | 

    What we are is a nation of laws made by men, most of whom don’t have the moral integrity of a car salesman.

  15. #15 |  SamK | 

    Jim, don’t know about others (haven’t scrolled up to read the rest), but I was happy that Arpaio was enforcing the law. My problem with him is that he’s not “enforcing the law”, he’s making it up as he goes along and stomping anyone that disagrees with him. Illegal immigration has become a pretty big deal to me, but so has arresting reporters that write stories about you and rolling APC’s into residential areas and denying basic health care to your charges (seriously, even if the pregnant gal *had* been illegal, people die in childbirth under good conditions much less shackled to a bed).

  16. #16 |  Nando | 

    The reason His Highness Joe has been elected four times is because people in that county seem to have a distaste for illegal immigrants. Since Joe is all about catching them and “making our country safer” by taking the Mexicans back to Mexico, they keep electing him.

    They get what they deserve.

  17. #17 |  SamK | 

    …having sold cars once in my life I’m not sure if I should be pleased that my moral integrity may be higher than a career pol, or upset that their’s is lower than mine. Thanks for locking up my brain on a Friday Dave.

  18. #18 |  ktc2 | 

    What’s the point of “The Rule of Law” if laws are made by whores (politicians) and their johns (lobbyists) for their own gain and enforced only selectively by thugs?

    I think the rule of law was a great idea and it got us far but something better is needed now. No, I don’t claim to know exactly what but clearly either it’s failed or we no longer have it.

  19. #19 |  pam | 

    The inmate in this story looked like he may have been Mexican. How ironic if he brings this hater down.

  20. #20 |  SamK | 

    Does it bother anyone else that the FBI is buying 20mm weapons? This is more than a .50 that came with your APC, you already have weapons that shoot through schools…I can’t think of a single use for a 20mm round outside of warfare. If a hostage situation involves several inches of armor plate, well, honestly I don’t even know how to finish this and I have to return to: FBI. 20mm. WTF?!?

  21. #21 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Rule of law is fine – while we have some issues with our laws they’re better than most. But the other choice is arbitrary rule, which is what you’re seeing in Phoenix right now. Since there’s no rule book, there’s no way to know what’s going to be the law from day to day. Under rule of law, Stoddard would be in jail and Arpaio would have no problem with that.

    To address another question from above, “where are all the good cops that we keep hearing about?”, they’re probably not stupid. Seriously. If you were a good cop in Phoenix right now, would you say anything reasonable about Stoddard? Look up that cop in Seattle to see what happens when the few good cops call out the bad ones. It would be far worse in Phoenix.

    On Wednesday, 20 deputies stayed home from the court house, but they don’t say how many that represents. I mean, 20 of 21 would be awful, 20 of 100 not so much.

    The atmosphere there is one of the standard union hooligans, loudmouths who will punish any of their own who don’t tow the line. Good cops will simply be quiet and keep their job.

  22. #22 |  ktc2 | 

    Then they are not good cops. They share the guilt of those they cover for by silence.

  23. #23 |  FORMER Arizonan | 

    Sam–THE FBI IS OUTGUNNED IN ARIZONA. The drug cartel violence continues to spread northward, and features the type weapons we mount on vehicles in the Army. It’s not your mamma’s frontier out there, it’s approaching the scale of conflicts in OTHER deserts. Your warfare analogy is spot-on, unfortunately. I used to live 6 miles from the border, and the kind of straight-up warfare in the streets just south of the border bleeds across with alarming frequency. Which is why Arpaio remains in power–people are scared.

    However, I wholeheartedly agree with Michael. I come from a conservative family of cops and I’m on track to become a prosecutor, and we are ALL horrified by what goes on in Arizona. But then, we’re all good-faith professionals who see actual justice (equally enforced under actual laws, imagine that) as the real goal, which means we have nothing in common with Arpaio.

    The local law enforcement buffoonery that supports stealing protected work product from a defense attorney’s file in open court–EXACTLY why I left Arizona and will never look back. They clearly see nothing wrong with it.

    Hampering defense counsel’s ability to fully and effectively defend clients constitutes a Constitutional outrage. The system breaks down when the 6th Amendment right to a fair trial loses its value. That Sheriff’s Department doesn’t represent “conservative” values, it’s an affront to the very foundation on which our forefathers constructed our justice system. I’ve always subscribed to the conservativism founded on the vision of the forefathers. If not, what’s there to conserve?

    Doesn’t Arpaio behave in exactly the same manner that upsets conservatives when the courts behave similarly, behind the charge of “judicial activism?” If creating judge-made law in the courts is so repellant, what’s different about law enforcement creatively practicing the same arbitrary application and interpretation of laws in the streets?

    Arpaio is nothing more than a sadistic demogogue engaged in a form of self-appointed jihad. He wipes his a** with the U.S. Constitution with every breath he takes.

    One can only hope that the citizens of Phoenix one day look beyond the end of their raised noses to see what a joke they’ve become to the rest of the country, and vote this little dictator OUT. He’s not making them any safer by engaging in (mostly) non-lethal ethnic cleansing.

  24. #24 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Would you rather the good cops lose their jobs and leave a department with nothing but hooligans?

    Really, that’s the choice.

  25. #25 |  Joshgeek | 

    Boyd, ur spot on. This mob… erm, police union will do anything to sully the court system until they get their way. Unions, like many concepts, are great in theory, but in practice, the human phenomena of the mob mentality rules and abuse of power is inevitable. It’s a despicable thing to behold. I feel sorry, mostly, for the people of maricopa co.

  26. #26 |  PW | 

    “Where is the “vast majority” of “good cops” we keep hearing about?”

    It is a myth, contingent upon defining a “bad cop” as only those that are guilty of the most serious criminal activity and corruption on the job. They constitute probably 10-20% of the police force – the types who fabricate police reports, beat people, steal drugs out of the evidence locker, or commit major crimes on the job.

    If you broaden the definition though a “bad cop” is also any who:

    – lies on traffic ticket reports to get revenue convictions
    – uses his flashers and sirens to run traffic lights to get around rush hour or speed out of convenience
    – declines to ticket other cops out of “professional courtesy”
    – looks the other way when he sees evidence of police corruption by a colleague

    If you include those things – and you should as they plainly meet the definition of corruption in any other job situation – then I’d estimate damn near 90-95% of cops are “bad cops.” Hence the problem we are in…

  27. #27 |  Steve from ohio | 

    #40- Now, imagine if he’s back to work and arrests somebody, writes a ticket, etc, while he shoud be in the slammer.

    Even Arapio coudn’t possiby be stupid enough to have him on the streets

  28. #28 |  SamK | 

    Eh, I hate unions…but after my experience working for USPS I grudgingly admit that even the crazy ones have a use even as they pile up BS. Management would follow you around, hide behind bushes, borrow each other’s cars, scream constantly, throw things, fired one fellow for not showing up when he had a heart attack, another for not setting his parking brake hard enough, the list goes on. I’ve never worked anywhere else that I had my job threatened on a daily basis, and without the union you had nothing going for you. Of course, the union managed to get a gal that had been fired for opening mail reinstated…twice. Good with bad, but much as I hate them I hate the management that makes some of them necessary at least as much.

  29. #29 |  SamK | 

    * “borrow each other’s cars to stalk you on the job”

  30. #30 |  random guy | 

    Who would have thought that a Serbian radical assassinating an Austrian Duke would have lead all of Europe into World War I?

    Who knows what will happen because of two deputies stealing a defense attorneys files?

    This is great, its got the momentum going to where this could be a portion of American History unfolding.

  31. #31 |  David Chesler | 

    SamK, I was in an engineer’s union once. It didn’t do me much good. The union and the management seemed to enjoy fighting each other, like some old married couples. It’s not clear who starts or who can end such a vicious cycle.

  32. #32 |  SJE | 

    Re: 79.

    Like a lot of fractious old married couples: death.

  33. #33 |  Nick T | 

    There’s a conspiracy alright. It’s called “the law” I wouldn’t be surpirsed if every judge is in on it.

  34. #34 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    The problem here is the Snowball effect.
    All the guy had to do was apologize. Five minutes of time.
    For something that was clearly a rights violation.
    Now we have bomb threats, sick outs, candlelight vigils, defiance
    of court orders, Federal lawsuit.
    Also, where is the cop? What jail? Where’s the mugshot?
    Where’s the booking paper trail.
    Are they going to lie about that too?

    Call in the FEDS.

  35. #35 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Part of the issue with unions is that they (and their members) enjoy a protected status and can get away with many things individuals cannot.

    A union of people or groups competing for benefits/rules without going to the Fist of the State is fine. Instead, we have statist unions.

  36. #36 |  ktc2 | 


    I’m with you there man. I worked for about six months for USPS. The management does their best to fire you. It’s like their promotions depend on it.

    I was sitting in my truk having just put mail in a mailbox. I was getting ready to drive to the next one when I noticed someone standing right behind my truck in the rear view mirror (yes, they have them though they go around the side not through the back). I put it in neutral (no park), put the emergency brake on and stood directly at the door to my truck to peer around behind. It was a manager hiding back there and I was fired because I was “out of my vehicle with the engine running”.

    Fuck ’em finished college, got my IT degree and now I get paid much better to travel around the world fixing IT problems.

  37. #37 |  ktc2 | 

    Oh, and as for the union despite the fact that I’d been paying dues since day one but they woulnd’t help me because I hadn’t been there long enough. So fuck them too!

  38. #38 |  BamBam | 

    #72, right on. Keeping quiet to collect your paycheck/loaf of bread/gold coin from the king is morally wrong. To know of wrongs and evil yet keep quiet about it “to get paid/to get yours” is also cowardly — but this is consistent with the cowardly police, whom I shall remind everyone again are not in the top 20 of most dangerous jobs.

  39. #39 |  David McElroy | 

    Arpaio may just have finally arrived at his Waterloo and put his foot in it!
    The deputy’s breach of attorney-client privilege is blatant and on camera with a video for all to see! But Arpaio claims the judge is on a vendetta!
    Seeing the judge’s response on tape, I was shocked by lenient and casual she was in addressing Stoddard’s transgression, and rather than quickly dressing down the officer in the courtroom, she admonished the defense attorney to “calm down” when she raised her complaint! Stoddard was barely mentioned, when she should have ordered him taken into custody!
    Then Arpaio and his army refuse to book Stoddard in jail after the judge does order him to be incarcerated, and the courthouse goon squad refuses to do their duty or cooperate with the courts. And a mysterious caller makes a bomb threat to the courthouse. I wonder what effort is being made to identify that caller? I’d bet the “bomber” is associated with a badge!
    Arpaio’s actions, and those of his deputies, prove that cops don’t believe the law applies to them…even in a courtroom with cameras! I could tell them where to stick their “candlelight vigils”, but I think a federal judge will hoist Arpaio on his own petard! What a retard…a bastard among bastards!

  40. #40 |  TJ Wiggins | 

    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 15 > § 285

    § 285. Taking or using papers relating to claims

    Whoever, without authority, takes and carries away from the place where it was filed, deposited, or kept by authority of the United States, any certificate, affidavit, deposition, statement of facts, power of attorney, receipt, voucher, assignment, or other document, record, file, or paper prepared, fitted, or intended to be used or presented to procure the payment of money from or by the United States or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, or the allowance or payment of the whole or any part of any claim, account, or demand against the United States, whether the same has or has not already been so used or presented, and whether such claim, account, or demand, or any part thereof has or has not already been allowed or paid; or

    Whoever presents, uses, or attempts to use any such document, record, file, or paper so taken and carried away, to procure the payment of any money from or by the United States, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, or the allowance or payment of the whole or any part of any claim, account, or demand against the United States—

    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

  41. #41 |  Carcr | 

    I agree that (at least where I live) public service workers are not allowed to strike. Calling in sick and then attending a rally is the same as striking. The deputies that caused the “Brownout” should be held accountable. As for Stoddard, I think he handled the situation the wrong way. If he saw statements on the document that raised red flags as he claims, he should have brought it to the attention of the Judge. He should not have taken the document. He violated attorney-client priveledge just by looking at it.

  42. #42 |  JS | 

    Of course TJ that won’t apply in this case.

  43. #43 |  "vivus spartacus" | 

    Re: #73
    “I’m on track to become a prosecutor”
    Great! Now we can All lose sleep over that possibility!

    “Hampering defense counsel’s ability to fully and effectively defend clients constitutes a Constitutional outrage. The system breaks down when the 6th Amendment right to a fair trial loses its value.”

    Hampering the ability to Defend What? Right to a What Fair Trial? In case you are merely too clueless to pick up blatant facts made evident in the video, the Incarcerated Dude in the horizontal pin striped suit was NOT on Trial! He was already CONVICTED and his attorney was arguing against the “Consecutive” (as opposed to “Concurrent”) Sentencing!

    ALL written correspondence by any Incarcerated Inmate is Moderated and NOT “privileged”.

    Furthermore, his Own Attorney admitted in open Court that ALL written correspondence from the Inmate had been issued from “Jail Mail” and that her papers had already been supposedly “unstapled” and earlier submitted to the Deputies for Review. The Deputy upon looking at what appeared to be a “hand written” letter / communication by the Inmate, simply called another Deputy over to take such and merely make a Copy of Same (ie DOING his JOB) and returned the original back to the attorney.

    Re: #90 WTH? How clueless can you be? There is absolutely NOTHING even remotely relevant to this Matter dealing with 18 USC 285

    Seriouosly, anyone so compelled to demonstrate that they are merely an IGNORANUS (Clueless and an A**hole) and all of you latent Anarchists posing as “libertarians”, do the rest of us a courtesy, and take a long slow drink from a tall cup of STHU!

    It is better to remain silent and merely thought a fool, then to speak and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln

    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
    Benjamin Franklin

    Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your
    getting, Get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

    “vivus spartacus”
    All Rights Reserved

    It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a
    prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty
    to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude
    is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his
    guilt. John Philpot Curran (1750–1817)

    Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have
    found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be
    imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted
    with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are
    prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
    Frederick Douglass, “If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress”

  44. #44 |  Z | 

    I want to be a policeman. But only in Maricopa.

  45. #45 |  Hey Joe, Where You Going With That Gun In Your Hand? « Around The Sphere | 

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