The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is accusing supervisor Don Stapley, a Republican from Mesa, of 100 new counts of fraud, which the office said are “unrelated” to the criminal charges dropped against him on Friday.
In a statement this afternoon, sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office revealed some details of the morning arrest of the embattled politician.
The statement said Stapley was arrested at about 9:30 a.m. in a county parking garage in downtown Phoenix. He “appeared agitated” and told deputies, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” as they moved in.
The statement went on to say the arrest was the work of an eight-month investigation that began in January and focused on Stapley’s campaign finances. The sheriff’s office is accusing the county supervisor of funneling campaign funds into his own personal accounts, as well as fraud involving his real estate business.
Seven of the counts are misdemeanors, while the other 93 are felonies, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office tried to address the odd timing of the arrest in its statement. It quoted Arpaio as saying the investigation ended “just days ago” on Sept. 11. “After a brief supervisory review of the investigation,” Arpaio said in the statement, “deputies were able to locate Stapley and arrest him.”
The supervisor was arrested in a similar fashion by the sheriff’s office last year on suspicion of 118 crimes of leaving out key facts from the financial disclosure forms he is required to file as an elected official. More than 50 of the counts were thrown out by a judge earlier this year after it turned out the law being used in the case didn’t apply in Maricopa County. The rest were tossed Friday by the Yavapai County special prosecutor, who said the the case could not be made without the charges that were tossed out by the judge.
The prosecutor, Mel Bowers, left open the possibility that the case would be refiled in the future, but he told Heat City today he knew nothing about Stapley’s arrest this morning.
Stapley was expected to go before a judge this afternoon to hear the sheriff’s accusations.