On Display Today: Paul Penzone’s Inexperience and Ineptitude

Penzone, Goddard and Camacho Miscalculate and Look Foolish

PHOENIX, AZ – Maricopa County Sheriff candidate Paul Penzone and two fellow Democrats had their hopes dashed today after prematurely calling a press conference to applaud the county Board of Supervisors’ decision to offer a massive settlement in a jailhouse death claim against Sheriff Arpaio.

Problem is, the Board refused to settle the claim today and instead sided with Sheriff Arpaio to go back to trial and fight the lawsuit.

“Penzone did today what many inexperienced politicians do. He came to an incorrect conclusion, jumped the gun, called a press conference and looked foolish in the process,” says Chad Willems, Arpaio’s campaign manager.

To save face, Penzone and his Democrat colleagues, former Phoenix mayor Terry Goddard and former TV reporter Frank Camacho, went on to level accusations against Arpaio and his office, again without the benefit of accurate knowledge and verifiable data.

The three Democrats told reporters the manner in which Arpaio runs the Sheriff’s Office costs taxpayers exorbitant amounts of money in legal fees.

But the data says something altogether different. The MCSO’s legal fee payouts are far less than the Phoenix Police Department and neighboring Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, which also operates a mega-jail system.

Since 1993, when Arpaio was first elected Sheriff, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has paid out a total of $45 million dollars in lawsuits from vehicle accidents to inmate claims. In that same time period, Phoenix Police Department, which does NOT have a jail system with 8500 inmates, has paid over $74 million dollars in legal fees. And in just the last ten (10) years, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office has paid out a whopping $274 million dollars in legal fees alone.*

“Sheriff Arpaio is an excellent manager and a responsible steward of the taxpayers’ money,” said Willems. “He runs the third largest jail system in the nation yet continues to come in under budget nearly every year and has returned $40 million to the taxpayers in the last ten years alone. Penzone is either totally ignorant of these facts or is once again deliberately misleading the public.”

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*The LASO is the nation’s largest Sheriff’s Office, followed by (2) Cook County Chicago and (3) the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Phoenix.

Arpaio Campaign: Democrat Candidate Penzone Misses the Mark

CONTACT: Chad Willems

PHOENIX, AZ – The Re-Elect Joe Arpaio 2012 campaign committee released the following statement today:

“The first Democrat to file and announce his campaign for Maricopa County Sheriff, Paul Penzone, stumbled out of the gates this morning with an announcement that is riddled with errors about Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s record of service,” stated Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems.

Penzone states in his online video that “on Sheriff Joe’s watch, more than 400 reports of sexual abuse against women and children were never investigated.”

The fact of the matter is this: the mishandling of these cases was brought to the Sheriff’s attention over four years ago, in 2007. Arpaio immediately ordered the cases re-opened and investigated. They have been brought to a conclusion.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Police Department has nearly 3,000 cases involving sex crimes and molestation that were mishandled. The PPD’s neglect in pursuing these cases surfaced only months ago, yet Penzone fails to mention his own department’s failures in these cases.

Penzone also states that the MCSO has failed to serve more than 40,000 felony warrants across the county. The fact of the matter is the vast majority of those are the responsibility of Penzone’s Phoenix Police Department.

Penzone’s tenure with the Phoenix Police Department as a sergeant offers him no experience in financial management and no decision-making power over the department’s budget.

“Penzone seemingly is a willing victim of believing the rhetoric from fringe groups that want to see Arpaio out of office. As a former spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department, Penzone should know to check his facts before making public statements. Before he gets too far down the campaign trail he might want to review the facts before he further embarrasses himself,” Willems concluded.