Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sheriff Arpaio accuses Attorney General Goddard of stonewalling investigation of him

Press release sent out by the Sheriff -


Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio today criticized Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard saying he is failing to keep his promise to cooperate in the ongoing criminal investigation of former State Treasurer David Petersen and the Attorney General’s Office.

The investigation centers on whether Petersen may have successfully bribed Attorney General Goddard into accepting $1.9 million dollars of disputed state funds in exchange for a better plea agreement in a criminal case involving Petersen and his alleged fraud and misuse of public money.

The attempted bribery investigation of Goddard and his Office began in April of this year and is being conducted by the Maricopa County Anti Corruption Enforcement (MACE) unit which consists of law enforcement professionals from the Sheriff’s Office and the County Attorney’s Office.

When Goddard was notified about the investigation, he publicly promised to fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities. But according to Arpaio, he has not kept his promise.

Instead Attorney General Goddard hired attorney Ed Novak who now acts as his “guard at the gate.” Novak is insisting that he receive prior notice of the questioning of any and all of the Attorney General’s employees, current or former, that may be contacted in the Sheriff’s criminal investigation.

“That’s not how criminal cases are done,” Arpaio says. “Law enforcement officials must have unfettered access to witnesses and suspects. Mr. Goddard and Novak are 100 West Washington, Suite 1900, Phoenix, Arizona 85003 Phone: (602) 876-1801 Fax: (602) 258-2081 Media Pager: (602) 238-8097 E-mail: SheriffsMediaRequests@MCSO.Maricopa.Gov 2
getting in the way of that, which is tantamount to interfering with an official investigation,” the Sheriff says.

Arpaio says, “My message today to Attorney General Goddard and his attorney is this: let us get our jobs done! Stop hindering my deputies from investigating this alleged crime, and let’s get this investigation over with.”

Letters to attorney Novak and the Attorney General asking for Novak to step aside and resist acting as a buffer between investigators and witnesses have been met with steadfast refusal.
A fact that baffles many, because according to the Arizona State Bar Magazine of June 2005, Goddard authored an article criticizing the very actions his own attorney is now taking in this case saying “a person or entity should not be allowed to thwart the investigation…by the general retention of a lawyer.”

“He’s apparently going against his own legal advice from two years ago,” Arpaio says. “I’ve known Terry Goddard for 25 years and he seems to be an honest person. But I am very curious as to why he is now stonewalling an investigation of his office.”

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