W. Steven Martin, who is running for Maricopa County sheriff, claimed Tuesday that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has assaulted him, threatened him, unleashed a call girl on him and launched "goons" to tap his phones and follow his movements.
Martin, a Chandler resident and former radio disc jockey, told reporters at a news conference that he has proof of these events and many more that he declined to discuss.
Yet the candidate refused to supply any documentation, names or other information to back up allegations that he said could result in prosecution of Arpaio.
"I want to keep this a clean election," Martin said.
Arpaio and Martin are among the candidates in a Sept. 7 Republican primary
The sheriff dismissed Martin’s allegations as paranoid and slanderous.
He said he also wanted a clean election and vowed not to go negative as he seeks his fourth term as Maricopa County sheriff. At his own news conference, Arpaio said Martin’s allegations were desperate.
"He’s a former disc jockey who’s living in a fantasy land, who will say and use anything," Martin said.
Martin said Arpaio threatened him and put his hand around his throat at an April 19 parade in Ahwatukee Foothills. Arpaio had just learned of Martin’s possible candidacy and told him not to run, Martin claimed. Martin said he had numerous witnesses, but he refused to name them.
Martin also claimed Arpaio tried to frame him at a Sept. 20 2003 fund-raiser at a Phoenix restaurant. Martin said a woman who appeared intoxicated approached him, put stickers on her chest and asked the candidate to remove them. She also asked Martin to her place so they could "get to know each other better," Martin said.
A Phoenix police officer told Martin the woman was a high-dollar call girl from Scottsdale, Martin said. In the background, a man who Martin said was a sheriff deputy tried to take a picture of the encounter.
Martin said Arpaio has deputies spying on him. "I think they’re listening to my phones," Martin said.
Arpaio spokesman Jack MacIntyre said the sheriff touched Martin at the parade, but only to put his hand on his shoulder. Arpaio offered a future lunch date, MacIntyre said, not a threat.