Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Deputy Stoddard did not pass "Go", did not collect $200

Last week (via Matt Brown), Sheriff Joe was blustering that Detention Officer Adam Stoddard, who helped himself to a defense lawyer's privileged documents, would not be going to jail.

He's in jail now, albeit probably at the 'Mesa Hilton' facility.

The ABC 15 article contains Stoddard's statement to the press:
Recently, Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe ordered me to hold a press conference to publicly apologize for doing the job I have been trained to do.

Part of my job in providing security to the court is to inspect documents brought into the courtroom. On October 19th, I saw a document that I had not yet screened, and that raised security concerns. I retrieved that document in plain sight and had court personnel copy it to preserve it as evidence in case it was a security breach.

It was a split second decision and I do not regret my actions.

If the job Stoddard was trained to do includes taking privileged documents from defendants' attorneys, the problem is much more serious than just a "bad egg". And there's no reason for split-second decisions in that context. Defendant attacks a witness, that's time for split-second thinking. Removing a paper from an attorney's file after a split-second of consideration, that's called "kleptomania".

Word is that twenty officers of the MCSO engaged in a solidarity sickout this morning. Solidarity with violation of attorney-client privilege?--as in "we'd do it too!"? And on the taxpayer dime? Pink slips all around are appropriate. But in Sheriff Joe's Maricopa County, that'll never happen.

Note that Stoddard is being represented by an assistant county attorney. Maricopa County voters: What are you paying to keep Sheriff Joe? Add this to the total.

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