by Jim Nintzel
Former Phoenix New Times reporter and U.S. Senate candidate John Dougherty get a $40K check from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio—sorta. New Times has the details and a great photo.
The check was actually for legal fees expended by New Times in the pursuit of public records requested by ex-New Times reporter John Dougherty in 2004. (And, technically, county Board of Supervisors chairman Don Stapley and clerk Fran McCarroll signed on Arpaio's behalf.)
Dougherty, now a candidate in the Democratic primary to determine a challenger for Republican U.S. Senator John McCain (assuming McCain gets past GOP rival J.D. Hayworth), left New Times in 2006.
But in 2004, he was hard on Joe's ancient heels and had submitted numerous requests to the MCSO seeking information about such matters as a jail death, jail canteen funds, and the MCSO's East Mesa facility (otherwise known as the "Mesa Hilton," for its use in housing such high-profile former offenders as Glen Campbell and the daughter of sports mogul Jerry Colangelo).
The MCSO's highly paid public relations unit, headed by Joe's top flack,
Lisa Allen, and her Stepin Fetchit, the infamously aggro Lieutenant Paul Chagolla (who has since been named a deputy chief), stonewalled Dougherty's lawful inquiries.
No doubt they were annoyed by a scathing profile of Arpaio that Dougherty had just written. Arpaio actually sat for an interview for the story, but the results were hardly salutary for Joe, who was then facing a challenge in the GOP primary from former Mesa PD Commander Dan Saban, then a Republican.
Arpaio would go on to pull out a victory over Saban, getting 56 percent of the vote. At the time, Dougherty's piece hit the sheriff square in the jaw. And Dougherty was going back for second and third punches