Sheriff staff member retires after 23 years

- Very few public figures in Arizona get the kind of attention that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio does; he always seems to be in the media spotlight.

For the past 22-years that spotlight has been managed mostly behind the scenes by a woman who is retiring next week, and who might be familiar to long time FOX 10 viewers.

Tent City, stripes, pink underwear, female chain gangs, and so much more. Over the past 23 years, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has become probably the most famous Sheriff in the world, an avalanche of media attention that Lisa Allen has handled for decades.

"We had 38 television cameras to deal with on the first day of the female chain gang, it was just monstrous," said Lisa Allen.

Sheriff Arpaio hired Lisa Allen from FOX 10 where she was a reporter. She brought her knowledge of what TV news wanted to see, and gave it to a Sheriff who more than welcomed the publicity.

"Took her away from FOX 10, I should hire all the reporters so they would be on my side," said Arpaio.

Lisa not only helped manage Arpaio's media requests, but she also came up with some of the ideas that got the media coverage in the first place.

"My favorite one and I'll never ever forget it, I was in my apartment and thought we should have a neon sign above tent city that says vacancy," said Allen.

The sign remains and shines brightly above tent city welcoming new inmates. Allen says she is leaving after 23 years because it's just time, and she wants to hand the job to someone with renewed energy to help the Sheriff lead the office for possibly another term.

And to those who think Lisa and the Sheriff went a little far with some of his publicity stunts? "It was always his idea, that is the way he could tell the people to vote for him, what's he is doing, and who he is," said Allen.

Allen is planning to move with her husband to Idaho, her last day on the job is on Tuesday.

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