Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, while at the forefront of the national illegal immigration debate, is now having to taking aim at an equally tough challenge: rooting out what may end up being one of the worst and most bizarre public corruption cases in Arizona.
In a press conference today, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas introduced the man they believe can help sort it all out: Bob Barr has agreed to be an expert witness in matters pertaining to the Board of Supervisors.
Barr, former U.S. Attorney, Congressman, and chief federal prosecutor in the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, has been retained as an expert witness in matters facing both Thomas and Sheriff Arpaio.
Not only has Barr directed a number of high profile public corruption investigations, he also chaired the Public Corruption Subcommittee of the U.S. Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United State Attorneys. He is a registered arbitrator and mediator.
In the case facing Maricopa County, Barr will serve as an expert witness lending his considerable experience and knowledge to opine as to the propriety, legality and ethical considerations of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors action taken on June 23 to hire Washington D.C. based mediator Kenneth Feinberg.
Feinberg has been asked by county officials to help them ratify bogus financial/legal settlements payable to themselves and amounting to nearly $46 million in taxpayer's money.
"What I have seen so far raises very serious concerns including the potential of serious fraud being perpetrated upon the taxpayers of this county as well as the deprivation of fundamental constitutional rights of the Sheriff and Mr. Thomas," Barr said today.
Arpaio added that both he and Thomas are confident that Barr's review of the facts will ultimately lead him to see that the board's actions are unprecedented, illegal and unethical.
"The board and county officials have rigged the system…with an aim to defraud the taxpayers to benefit themselves. Citizens should be outraged," Arpaio says.
Also serving as an expert witness in the matter for Sheriff Arpaio will be Joseph diGenova, former U.S. Attorney for the nation's capitol.
Thomas said today, "We demand our day in court so we can get to the bottom of things and defend the interests of justice and of the county taxpayers."