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Column: Ex-DEA Official Criticizes Outspoken Arizona Sheriff Dupnik

William Coonce worked for the DEA for 29 years and was special agent in charge of the Detroit Division from 1987 to 1993.

William Coonce

By William Coonce
For ticklethewire.com

TUCSON — Subsequent to my retirement from the DEA in 1993, I was hired by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Tucson, Arizona to be the Deputy Director of the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA) program.

For the next 8 years I worked indirectly for Mr. Clarence Dupnik, the Pima County Sheriff. As most everyone in the country has heard, Mr. Dupnik has made several highly inappropriate comments about people in the media and talk radio as somehow being responsible for the shooting in Tucson last Saturday.

He also has referred to those who support SB 1070, the Arizona Immigration law as being ‘bigots’ and ‘racists’.

Despite his long tenure as the Pima County Sheriff, Mr. Dupnik has never been a visible leader in Tucson.

His style is one who quietly manipulates people and issues behind the veil of his subordinates. They are expected to do his bidding and then take a fall if circumstances indicate that that his skin is on the line.

Given this history, his recent comments are highly out of character and may in fact reflect his true feelings given the emotional trauma of this tragic event. The remarks might also just be just Democratic demagoguery. Either way he should not have made the damaging and un-true statements.

I was raised and educated in Tucson and my respect for the heritage, people, culture and the Sonora desert have no bounds as people who know me will attest.

I could not wait to retire and come back home. My grade school through college education in Tucson was always multicultural where everyone was equal. There were no ethnic awareness classes, defined barrios or ethnic conflict.

To this day I enjoy the Mexican culture, tradition, mariachi music and of course the food. I frequently visit Mexico where I speak passable, although somewhat fractured Spanish and love doing it.

I am, however, a supporter of SB 1070 and want and expect elected and appointed law enforcement officials to support and enforce the immigration laws in this country and this state.

So, a little memo to you Clarence: You are correct that I and others are a little angry. We are angry and disgusted at a community manager like you who dare to call us racists and bigots!

You are blaming conservative Tucsonans for fanning the flames of dissent when in fact it is you Mr. Dupnik who are clearly doing so and not citizens like us who watch you flaunt the laws by not enforcing them.

We need a leader as the Sheriff in Pima County. It is time for you to step up to the plate or step down.


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Comment from Dave Maj
Time October 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I mean Rick did help put away some of the most corrupt city officials Detroit has ever seen including members of the head crook mayor coleman young’s family.

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