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  even prosecutors commit perjury Wallace wanted to know why Arpaios quotes in British newspapers contradict sworn claims by county prosecutors that inmates are treated humanely, arent degraded and their rights arent violated. Original Article

Prison-walk photos may derail extradition

Michael Kiefer
The Arizona Republic
May. 11, 2005 12:00 AM

For more than three years, a Catholic priest has refused to leave his native Ireland to face two counts of felony sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona.

On April 22, the High Court of Ireland was going to rule on whether to extradite the Rev. Patrick Colleary to Phoenix.

But that morning, according to Colleary's lawyer, a Dublin cabdriver showed a government attorney riding in his cab newspaper photos of jail inmates dressed in pink underwear and flip-flops being paraded in pink handcuffs down a Phoenix street.

It took a week for the photos to reach Ireland of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's much advertised April 15 migration, when about 700 nearly nude prisoners walked the block from the old Madison Street Jail to the new Fourth Avenue Jail. But it took just moments for that photo to derail years of negotiation on the extradition.

On Tuesday, a letter from the Irish Chief State Solicitor's Office arrived at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office - via the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C. - asking prosecutors there to explain the apparent discrepancies between the photographed pink-underwear odyssey and earlier affidavits saying that the underwear was always worn under jail uniforms and was not intended as a form of humiliation.

The County Attorney's Office replied with its own condemnation of the pink parade, questioning "whether there were necessary security or penological interests requiring the mass disrobing of inmates before they entered the new jail," and stating its own regrets.

"That these prisoners were . . . paraded semi-nude through a downtown section of Phoenix is . . . not a practice that this office can defend," it read.

The County Attorney Office's response suggested that Colleary be held in federal custody instead.

Arpaio downplayed the dispute and vowed not to change a thing.

"I don't see what the problem with pink underwear is," he said. "The pictures were taken on county property when we were moving from one jail to the other. But I'm not changing anything when this guy comes into the jail. He will be wearing pink underwear."

Colleary was initially indicted in an incident of sexual misconduct that prosecutors said took place in 1978, while he was a priest at a parish in Tempe, but that charge was dropped in January 2003. Colleary left for his native Ireland before he was re-indicted that May and accused of having sex with a teenage boy while he was a priest in Scottsdale in 1978. He has fought extradition on several grounds, including his assertion that Maricopa County jails are inhumane.

When the photos were published in Ireland, Colleary's Arizona lawyer, David Myers, says, "The prosecutor then realized that there was a serious issue of perjury on behalf of the people from Maricopa County."

The letter from Irish solicitor Charles Wallace reprinted passages from an earlier affidavit from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office that said, "Inmates wear the underwear under their ordinary jail clothing and it is in no way used to inflict humiliation on the prisoners."

But to the solicitor, the news photos suggested the opposite, and he demanded an explanation.

Arpaio jail march stalls priests return
By Gary Grado, Tribune

Patrick Colleary
A march of semi-nude Maricopa County jail inmates stopped extradition proceedings in Ireland for a suspected pedophile priest.
View copy of letter from Irish officials

Now prosecutors are scrambling to find another jail to house the Rev. Patrick Colleary if hes returned to Arizona to stand trial.

On April 15, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had 700 inmates clad only in pink underwear and flip-flops move from old jails to new ones. The march raised concerns with the Irish government that Colleary, former associate pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale, would be mistreated in a county jail, according to a letter sent Tuesday between Irish and U.S. government officials.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas will ask the federal government to hold Colleary pending trial rather than Arpaio, wrote his chief assistant.

"The extradition of Patrick Colleary remains a high priority of the Maricopa County Attorneys Office. The crimes for which Mr. Colleary stands accused, involving the sexual abuse of children, are reprehensible and must be addressed. We firmly believe our community should not suffer because of this illadvised act by the Sheriffs Office," wrote Sally Wolfgang Wells, chief assistant county attorney.

Arpaio said he is being made the "sacrificial lamb" and that Thomas is bowing to Irish officials.

"Thats garbage," Arpaio said. "Im not going to talk about all their ill-advised acts."

The inmates were moved in their underwear so they couldnt hide contraband and his jails have always passed constitutional muster, Arpaio said.

"If the guy doesnt want to come to my hotel, he can go to the country club federal prison," Arpaio said.

An Irish judge was going to decide April 22 whether Colleary was to be returned to Arizona. The proceedings were stopped, however, after news articles of the march appeared in The Sun, a London tabloid newspaper, according to a letter from Charles Wallace, an attorney with the Chief State Solicitor of Ireland, to Tressa Borland, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wallace especially wanted an explanation about the Arpaio quote, "I put them on the streets so everybody could see them. . . . If a kid asks his mother what was going on, she could tell him this is what happens to people who break the law. I view it as another deterrent to fight crime."

Wallace wanted to know why Arpaios quotes in British newspapers contradict sworn claims by county prosecutors that inmates are treated humanely, arent degraded and their rights arent violated.

Wallace, reached in Ireland, and Borland in Washington, D.C., refused to comment.

"We dont comment on ongoing extradition cases, even to confirm or deny theyre pending," Borland said.

The county attorneys office regrets the way in which inmates were relocated and believes it was not necessary to do it in that manner, Wells wrote.

Arpaio said Colleary would be segregated and protected if he were in county jail, but he would still be given standard jail meals and made to wear pink underwear and a striped jail uniform.

"Im not going to change any of my policies," Arpaio said.

Colleary spent a month in jail under Arpaios often controversial administration after he was arrested Dec. 4, 2002, on a grand jury warrant accusing him of molesting Chandler resident Mark Kennedy in 1979.

The case was dismissed under the statute of limitations.

Colleary was long gone to Ireland when he was indicted again May 28, 2003, on three counts of sexual conduct with a minor, this time accused of molesting a different boy in the same time period.

Colleary sent Christmas cards to his supporters in December 2003, thanking them and proclaiming his innocence.

Kennedy and the other victim, whose identity the Tribune is not revealing because hes never spoken publicly about the molestations as Kennedy has, have both sued Colleary.

Contact Gary Grado by email, or phone (602) 258-1746

a copy of the letter from ireland to the USA is at: