The offer comes as a surprise. "Now that I have your contact info," a nice woman from the Northeast Tarrant County Tea Party emails me after I ask a question for a different story, "I will forward to you a press invite to interview Sheriff Joe Arpaio, if you're interested." Of course I'm interested. How can I pass up interviewing one of the country's most notorious lawmen? And all I have to do is drive out to Southlake?
Sky Chadde Sheriff Joe Arpaio says to make sure I get his gun-shaped tie pin in the frame.
My next thought is, does he know I'm coming? See, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, has some history with the Observer's sister paper, the Phoenix New Times. The paper has extensively documented his department's harassment of Mexican immigrants, Arpaio's questionable real estate deals and his use of intimidation, bullying and lies to attack his critics. In 2007 he ordered the arrest of the New Times co-founders, falsely accusing them of leaking testimony from a grand jury that hadn't been convened. They were recently awarded a $4 million settlement. Will he even talk to me?More »