Friday, August 26, 2011

More Q & A with Lieutenant Mike Stauffer, Primary Challenger to Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Maricopa County Sheriff Candidate Mike Stauffer
Earlier this week I emailed Lieutenant Mike Stauffer, Sheriff Arpaio's Republican Primary challenger for Maricopa County Sheriff, with a number of questions.  He has kindly responded and below is our exchange unedited.  I have also emailed Sheriff Arpaio with numerous questions but have had no response.

Phoenix Justice: This past Saturday, the Arizona Republic printed a story regarding the Maricopa Correctional Health System and the latest report regarding their progress and lack thereof in providing quality medical care to the detainees. After spending tens of millions of tax payer dollars only to fail in meeting court ordered minimums and losing accreditation, do you think it might be time to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch, possibly with the inclusion of a non-profit private medical company to take over the services?

Mr. Stauffer: I will enlist the aid of the medical experts in the Maricopa County Health system to find a solution to the problems due to neglect by the current sheriff. My goal will be to restore MCSO's health accreditation. Any reasonable recommendation as to how to accomplish this will be considered.

Phoenix Justice: Sheriff Arpaio has used the MCSO to go after those who speak out against him and his policies, including elected officials and especially campaign opponents. Do you expect Sheriff Arpaio and his allies to use dirty tricks in this campaign against you and how do you plan to deal with those dirty tricks?

Mr. Stauffer: I do expect Arpaio to continue in his abusive ways. However, I have faced far more intimidating people in my years as a police officer than Arpaio and am not afraid of his desperate ploys to stay in office. I will counter his tactics by continuing to speak the truth and holding him accountable. I will stay the course of standing up for the principles of true American, ethical, effective law enforcement.

Phoenix Justice: The MCSO has in the past streamed live the booking of detainees (which was found unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) and has been running a "Mug Shot of the Day" contest on the MCSO website. If you are elected sheriff, will you continue this practice?

Mr. Stauffer: I will not continue the tactics of humiliation instituted by Arpaio. These tactics only serve to discredit and demean the dedicated men and women of Maricopa County law enforcement.

Phoenix Justice: We all know that Sheriff Arpaio loves the media spot light, if elected sheriff, how often do you plan to in front of the press and why?

Mr. Stauffer: I will always be available to the press if they wish to discuss the operations of the sheriff's office. I will not be a desperate publicity hound like the current sheriff.

Phoenix Justice: According to Sheriff Arpaio's last campaign finance report, filed in 2010, he had over $2.8 million. We can all safely surmise that has accumulated even more campaign cash with his frequent calls for "help" this past year. How do you plan to combat so much campaign cash?

Mr. Stauffer: It is not always about the cash, but about the quality of the message.

Phoenix Justice: One of the responsibilities of the MCSO is detainee transport back and forth to the courts. Over the last two years, there have been several days where detainees were not delivered to the courts, causing disruptions to the point where the deputy in charge was held in contempt. Do you foresee any further "disruptions" by the MCSO should you be elected sheriff?

Mr. Stauffer: The duties and responsibilities of the sheriff's office will be carried out in a timely and professional manner. These "disruptions" will not be allowed to continue.

Phoenix Justice: The US Department of Justice recently closed its investigation regarding the costs of MCSO deputies transporting extradition detainees back to Maricopa County. If elected sheriff, would you change extradition transportation policies?

Mr. Stauffer: As sheriff, I will institute tight controls on the extradition duties of the sheriff's office.

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