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Pink prison boxers a special gift to sheriff : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Pink prison boxers a special gift to sheriff
Toftoy also invites controversial Arizona sheriff to GOP Pig Roast

by Matt Schury


Kendall County Coroner Ken Toftoy had a special gift for County Sheriff Richard Randall at last week's county board meeting.

Walking up to the podium to speak, Toftoy had something behind his back.

"I just have one thing that I'd like to share," Toftoy began.

"Yeah, he's going to arrest me," Randall joked.

"About time," Board member John Shaw chimed in.

Toftoy held up a pair of pink prison-issue boxer shorts from the Maricopa County Jail in Arizona.

Toftoy picked up the shorts on a recent trip to Arizona where he met with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Toftoy hand delivered an invitation to Arpaio to speak at the annual Kendall County Republican Pig Roast in August. Toftoy serves as chairman of the Kendall County GOP.

"I don't know if you heard about the sheriff out there that makes his inmates wear pink shorts," Toftoy said.

Arpaio forces his inmates to wear pink shorts.

Toftoy says the prisoners were stealing the underwear so Arpaio had them all dyed pink.

"He says it has a calming effect too," Toftoy related. "He's a pretty outspoken guy."

The shorts were autographed with a message.

"I don't know if these will fit him but it says-'To the second toughest sheriff, Richard Randall, best wishes Sheriff Joe,'" Toftoy read.

"No pictures please," Randall joked.

Toftoy met with Arpaio and the Discovery Channel, which coincidently happened to be interviewing him. Toftoy even commented a little for the program that is to air this summer.

Toftoy also toured the "Tent City" where Arpaio holds inmates outside.

"He is a controversial guy, but the public loves him," Toftoy said of Arpaio.

He adds that the inmates are fed on 32 cents a day with baloney; Arpaio also took away salt and pepper, which saved the county $20,000, Toftoy said. Arpaio also only lets inmates watch cable news programs like Newt Gingrich, Mr. Rogers and the Disney Channel and The Weather Channel so the inmates in the tents know how hot it is, according to Toftoy.

"He has good Republican values," Toftoy said. "He's been labeled the toughest sheriff in the county and he doesn't put up with any crap."

Toftoy also mentioned Arpaio's outspoken stance against illegal immigration.

"He said, 'My parents come from Italy and they filled out the right paper work and that's what everybody else should do,'" Toftoy said.

Critics of Arpaio include human rights organizations that say he abuses inmates with his publicity grabbing tactics. He has also been accused of racial profiling for the way he handles undocumented workers and illegal aliens.

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice are currently investigating Arpaio for alleged civil rights violations and abuse of power. He is also a defendant in a class-action lawsuit for alleged racial profiling.

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