Deputies re-arrest Supervisor Don Stapley after other case dropped

By Nick R. Martin | September 21st, 2009 | 10:15 am | No Comments »

Don Stapley

Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley was arrested this morning by county sheriff’s deputies, just days after prosecutors dropped all charges against him in a criminal case that began last year.

The details of his arrest are unclear so far, but a Maricopa County Sheriff’s spokesman confirmed to Heat City at 10:07 a.m. that Stapley had been arrested again this morning. That spokesman, Detective Aaron Douglas, said in an email the office had “no further comment.”

The Mesa Republican was previously accused of leaving out key facts from the financial disclosure forms he is required to file as an elected official. The case had been investigated and built by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and later given to Yavapai County after local prosecutors determined it would be a conflict of interest to try one of their own county supervisors.

On Friday, the special prosecutor hired by Yavapai County to handle the case threw out the charges against Stapley because of some legal hurdles. However, special prosecutor Melvin Bowers left open the possibility of refiling it.

Contacted by phone this morning, Bowers said he knew nothing about the arrest. “I’m in the dark,” he said.

Bowers said he also contacted the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office on the off chance someone there knew something. “They did not know either,” he said. (Representatives from the office could not be independently reached this morning.)

Similarly, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Mike Scerbo, said, “I know nothing about it.”

Stapley’s attorney, Paul Charlton, said he was at the jail trying to find out information, but his client had not made it through the booking process yet.

Update (11:28 a.m.): A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office just sent out an email saying Stapley is scheduled to appear before a judge at 2 p.m. That’s when the public will find out why he was arrested.

Additionally, the Arizona Republic is quoting “a sheriff’s official” saying the arrest is related to a “different case” than the paperwork problems.

The Phoenix New Times speculates that it’s part of a bribery investigation the sheriff’s office began earlier this year.