Group Raising Money to Help Protect Sheriff Joe's Image
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio talk as they watch the proceedings, as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals takes up the new Arizona immigration law, at the Rose Law Group offices Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, in Scottsdale
Associated Press | KPHO
November 23, 2010
PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s image has taken a hit lately for his illegal immigration crackdowns and allegations he may have abused his power.
Arpaio is also under investigation by the federal government and could face criminal charges.
A close political ally has now come forward to help the sheriff protect his reputation.
Vernon Parker is the former mayor of Paradise Valley and recently made a run for Congress.
Parker now spends much of his time trying to protect Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s image.
“You pick up the newspaper or turn on the TV and there’s only one side of the story, and it’s Sheriff Joe is a bad man,” said Parker.
Parker has started up a new website, www.defendsheriffjoe.com, that’s designed to offset the negative news coming out about the sheriff, who’s facing a federal civil rights investigation.
It’s also a launching pad to raise money to pay for TV and radio ads.
“I have seen so many public officials destroyed in the media because they have not had their fair shake,” said Parker. “What we’re trying to say is, there are always two sides to every story on the sheriff.”
However, Valley attorney and Arpaio critic Michael Manning said that the campaign is a little misleading.
He claimed that Arpaio’s public relations push has some ulterior motives.
“It’s very clever but very deceptive,” said Manning. “It is a great way for the sheriff and his people to start softening up the jury pool when Arpaio is indicted on abuse of power stuff.”
Parker said the sheriff has nothing to do with the website and the money raised is simply an effort to help one of the community’s most dedicated leaders.
“In our country we are innocent until proven guilty,” said Parker.