Arpaio releases report on bungled investigations - New York News

MCSO: Too many cases, too few investigators led to botched investigations

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX -

The sheriff for metropolitan Phoenix has released 10,000 pages of documents on an internal probe into sex-crime cases.

There was just one copy of the report, and Monday afternoon, MCSO gave the media just one hour to go through it.

The documents released Monday afternoon explain why hundreds of sex-crime cases were either inadequately investigated or not looked into at all during a 3-year period ending in 2007.

Internal Affairs found that 8 officers in the sex crimes unit made so many wrong moves that it was tough to pin the blame on any one person.

IA investigators say MCSO's sex crimes unit had too few officers, too many cases, and tight budget restrictions -- and found it "unreasonable" to expect staff to succeed under these conditions. Error after error was found in the unit -- from officers using their "own individual system" to track cases, to improperly storing original pieces of evidence in their officers -- and over and over cases weren't followed up on.

One of those cases was a 13-year-old girl impregnated by a 20-year-old suspect. The officer assigned to the case couldn't explain why he never investigated it.

Lt. Suzanne Seagraves was head of the department from 2006 to 2008. The report shows she would clear cases that had little or no work done of them. She claims she repeatedly asked for additional staff and was denied, and claimed she was once told to "shut up about it."

Things got worse once the unit took on the cases of the City of El Mirage, which paid Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office for police services. Some officers pointed the finger at former Chief Deputy David Hendershott, saying he knew they couldn't handle the caseload, but took on more anyway.

On top of it all, there were problems between officers within the unit. Lt. Seagraves complained to her boss about sexually inappropriate comments made by a commander regarding her body, her clothing, and her dating life.

The investigation into the botched cases was launched in May 2008 after El Mirage discovered at least 32 reported child molestations in which the agency failed to follow through.

Arpaio's office later reopened 400 of those sex crimes cases that were reported to the agency but not resolved.

In 2011, MCSO apparently overhauled its system of managing sex crimes cases. They now require specified training and refresher courses, and also require additional staff.

In the end, no one was disciplined for the botched cases.

Related stories

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Bloomberg flies to Israel in show of support

    Bloomberg flies to Israel in show of support

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:35 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:35:51 GMT
    Via Bloomberg Facebook pageVia Bloomberg Facebook page
    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel via a commercial El Al flight despite an FAA ban on U.S.-based airlines flying to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bloomberg on the tarmac outside the El Al jet Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport.
    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel via a commercial El Al flight despite an FAA ban on U.S.-based airlines flying to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bloomberg on the tarmac outside the El Al jet Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

    Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:06 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:06:48 GMT
    The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.  In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.  The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.
    The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.  In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.  The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.
  • Port Authority to plan for new bus terminal

    Port Authority to plan for new bus terminal

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:02 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:02:29 GMT
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is discussing a new main bus terminal. The 64-year-old Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan has come under criticism from New Jersey lawmakers who say their constituents have to deal with long delays, substandard conditions and a lack of communication.
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is discussing a new main bus terminal. The 64-year-old Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan has come under criticism from New Jersey lawmakers who say their constituents have to deal with long delays, substandard conditions and a lack of communication.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices