Insists he's never raised his hand to a woman
Maricopa County sheriff challenger Paul Penzone is taking issue with the latest campaign ad by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which hit the airwaves on the day early ballots are being received by county voters.
The ad claims Penzone was accused of abusing his then-estranged wife in 2003.
At a news conference outside the downtown Phoenix building that houses Arpaio's office, Penzone said the accusaton is "absolutely false." According to Penzone, he was the one who called police to report domestic abuse after going to the home of his then-estranged wife to pick up hockey equipment for their son, with whom Penzone had visitation that weekend. When his estranged wife brought out the bag of equipment and put it on the ground, Penzone bent down to pick it up. At that time, he told police, she hit him in the face with a hockey stick. Police reports indicated Penzone suffered a bruise on his cheek.
"I was the reporting person," Penzone said. "It was an hour later before the officer talked to my ex-wife."
When that interview occurred, his wife told the officer a similar story, except that when she set the bag of equipment on the ground outside the front door, she said Penzone shoved her into a door.
Penzone denies the accusation. He says the ad "only tells half the story" and is a desperate attempt by the sheriff to make false claims after a poll released earlier this week showed Penzone within 4 percentage points of Arpaio.
A statement from Arpaio's campaign says "The Re-Elect Arpaio 2012 campaign firmly stands by their latest ad informing voters about candidate Paul Penzone's history of domestic violence. The ad is based in fact and references the exact words from his ex-wife (following) the altercation... Domestic violence is a serious issue, and one that voters should consider when choosing the chief law enforcement officer of this county."
Click here to view the police report