Phoenix Sheriff Arpaio Defends His “Air Force,” Alleged Misspending


Despite court setbacks to Arizona's aggressive illegal immigration law, two federal investigations into his law enforcement practices, and an audit that found he misspent millions of dollars had been misspent, Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not backing down in his pursuit of illegal immigrants, or the limelight, says the New York Times.

Now Arpaio has created what he calls his own air force: a collection of 30 private planes that his “air posse” uses to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. “This is just another controversial program that I don’t think is controversial,” he said. This week, county budget officials found that he had used nearly $100 million meant to run the jails for other activities, including salaries for deputies assigned to his contentious efforts to uncover human smuggling and public corruption. Arpaio blamed accounting errors.

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