Controversy over Sheriff Arpaio's defense fundraising letter

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is due back in court next month, and a fundraising letter is causing some buzz. The Sheriff said the letter is one of several over the years that his campaign has sent out to raise funds for his legal defense fund.

The letter went out last week to supporters, and asks for donations for the Sheriff's legal defense fund.

He says he doesn't see why it is getting so much attention.

The letter begins with "Patriot, I'm going to cut to the chase, because I really need your help."

"It's just a letter that was prepared by my campaign in general terms to say we could use money in the future, and the present," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

"It's something my campaign suggested that we do years ago, knowing that at one time we may need legal advice where I will not be covered by the government, and I think that's good management to do that," he said.

"I always heard he had enough money somewhere saved up," said a citizen.

"I probably wouldn't contribute to the legal defense fund, I don't know if that is necessarily something people like myself should pick up the tab for," said another citizen.

Sheriff Arpaio said no taxpayer money is involved in the letter, and he would not discuss his criminal attorney Mel McDonald, who he must pay for out of his own pocket.

One young man said he will not donate to the Sheriff's legal defense fund, but believes many people across the state and country will.

"Oh yeah, he'll get a lot of money, he'll have enough to defend how ever high it goes, but in the end he will. They will make an example of him," he said.
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