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Governor, Please Fix This Mess

Susan Bitter Smith, the current chair of Arizona’s Corporation Commission – the regulator of Arizona’s monopoly utilities like APS, Southwest Gas and Century Link – resigned amid conflict of interest charges.

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Gosar Vitriolic Condemnation of Congressional Budget Deal

Our Congressman Paul Gosar’s vitriolic condemnation of the Congressional Budget Deal is a striking act of isolationism. The bill passed precisely because the majority in Congress could no longer put up with the antics of Mr. Gosar’s Shutdown Caucus.

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Clerk Chad A Roche takes bold stance - refutes 1% across the board bonus called for by Chairman


Clerk Chad A. Roche took a bold stance today at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Pinal County in response to a call for an across-the-board bonus for all Pinal County employees. This proposal was brought up for discussion today by Chairman Pete Rios, who is up for election this fall. The one- time one-percent incentive - if passed in the future - would be the first increase in pay for Pinal County employees in over four years.

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And the survey says...

A new poll by the Merrill/Morrison Institute released May 17, 2012, shows overwhelming support by Arizona voters for increasing funding for public education.

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An opinion about opinions

Apache Junction author Jean Groen and her prickly pear pickin’ accomplice Robert Lewis offer their popular annual class, “How to Juice a Prickly Pear,” at 10:30 a.m.

I am a chaplain with Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and was sad to see that you (editor) would take advantage of a very tragic event to take a cheap shot at PCSO. We were all sad to see the loss of Mr. (Jeff) Block and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

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An inside look

Betty’s Haunted Bus is sure to provide thrills and chills  at Salt River Tubing’s Spooktacular Halloween.

Often times when we are on the outside looking in we don’t always see a clear picture or know the true intentions. Things can be deceiving. We see the smiles and hear convincing words that people would like us to hear.

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An honest, decent sheriff

Before he was elected sheriff, Paul Babeu was unable to identify his sister in law, driving his car, in a photo radar speeding ticket. I wondered at the time if he was a liar or just a bad cop. 

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An Epic Pinal County Scandal

A little more than a week ago, Scott Greenfield wrote a post at Simple Justice about how a deputy at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office shot an unarmed man in the back despite the fact the man had his hands in the air and was clearly surrendering. If it hadn’t been caught on camera by a bystander, it would never have been news because the sheriff initially lied about the facts, insisted the deputy was justified, and let the deputy return to full duty after only three days of paid administrative leave. Luckily, the footage couldn’t be clearer.  Read full article here

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An endorsement for Millsaps

Kathy Hughes’ book, “Bull Dozer Learns to Be a  Friend,” sells for $19.99 on

As most of you know Aug. 28 is Election Day, what this means is we will be given an opportunity to clean up the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. The current sheriff has managed to turn this office into the most chaotic mismanaged office in Pinal County. 

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All Pinal Residents Deserve Equal Protection and Safety

Is it fair that families who live within city or town limits receive more than double the police protection?  Almost 212,000 Pinal residents do not live in a city or town and are the primary responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office. We have 209 deputies for 212,000 residents who live in the unincorporated county areas like San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, Hidden Valley, Queen Valley, Arizona City, San Manuel, Oracle, Saddlebrooke and portions of Casa Grande and Apache Junction.  Local Police Departments have over 540 full time Police Officers to protect 170,000 residents within the city limits and tribal reservations.

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62% of Pinal County’s Most Dangerous Criminals Let Go?

In the last several months, it has been described by Sheriff Babeu and one of his recruited running mates, Lando Voyles, that the current Pinal County Attorney, James Walsh, has declined prosecution, set plea agreements, or allowed probation to 62% of Pinal County's most dangerous criminals.  It has been reported that many of these dangerous criminals have committed homicides, aggravated assaults, sexual assaults and other serious felonies.  I would like to shed some light as a former chief of police and career lawman on this seriousness of these percentages and allegations.

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42 Times Zero Equals Zero

42 equals the number on Jackie Robinson’s jersey, The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything (the Hitchers Guide) and w...

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3 Pinal County Supervisors Violate County Merit Rules

At the Pinal County Board of Supervisors meeting, on Feb. 5, three Republican supervisors violated the County Merit System rules for promotions and reclassifications by doing an end-around Human Resources.

Interestingly, the three supervisors claimed that the pay increases were part of a job promotion to a higher salary grade except that, if this were true, the positions would be open to all who wanted to apply. You guessed it: the positions were only open to the supervisors' personal assistants.  The pay increases took the form of a job reclassification to a higher pay grade although none of the Executive Assistants skill sets had changed.

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Be careful who you vote for

Kathy Hughes’ book, “Bull Dozer Learns to Be a  Friend,” sells for $19.99 on

Tuesday, Aug. 28, is Primary Election Day, a time to select the right people to run on the general election ballot. I am very concerned about those who have put together an alliance that would dominate Pinal County government for the next four years.  

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Babeu's Indescretions

I’m as concerned as you should be about our current Sheriff Paul Babeu.

“Going off”, “jumping to conclusions”, and making “knee jerk” decisions are things that our current sheriff is becoming known for, as well as other indiscretions.

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Babeu Refuses to Join In Enforcing Federal Law

Sgt. Chris Lapre

Dear Editor,

Last week, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution that asked our county constitutionally elected officials to enforce the Hatch Act with their employees as we enter this election season.

The resolution passed by a two to one vote.  Chairman Rios and Supervisor David Snider voted aye and Supervisor Bryan Martyn voted no.

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Babeu It's Time to Resign

It’s time we take a step back and look at the overall picture of what has transpired over the past three years Sheriff Babeu has been running the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

This is a person who came into office talking about “cleaning up” the office and making it “transparent.” All evidence points to the contrary.

In three years we have seen the office used for everything at the expense of law enforcement.

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Babeu doesn’t want anyone in office who speaks out against him

People of Pinal County, Paul Babeu has aligned himself with several other candidates in an attempt to control every government agency in Pinal County.

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Babeu and Mendoza, personal friends, are playing a very sad game of politics at the expense of a good man, Chief Derek Arnson

Mr. Block's drivers license photo

I was interviewed by the Arizona Republic about 3 weeks ago.  I stand behind what I said and I will again add my continued support of Chief Arnson.

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Babeu Always Tries to Discredit and Destroy His Critics


Where does decency begin, and where does it end?

I have been in politics a very long time. Long enough to have had quite a few pot shots taken at me – for everything from an unfounded claim about residency to any position I have taken in my time at the State Legislature.

But never have I been accused of striking a family member or calling them a vicious name in front of  law enforcement officers.

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