Tales from the Morgue

One might imagine that few people want to work around Christmas and the New Year. But when it comes to law enforcement, someone must work.

In 1958, the sheriff hypothesized that some of the deputies knew they would be replaced in the new year when the new sheriff started, but he vowed they would work as assigned until then.

Sheriff Hurls Blast At 'Shirkers'

Sheriff James Clark blasted some of his deputies as "gold-brickers" because he said they shirked their duty and did not work on their assigned days.

He fired one man last night when he failed to heed an ultimatum to appear in one hour "or else."

Clark said he discovered only four deputies working on patrol duty yesterday afternoon. He said there should have been 12 men working.

"These men are getting paid by county taxpayers and they'll work right up to 11:30 New Year's Eve," Clark said.

Clark said some of the men know they are being replaced by the incoming sheriff, Waldon Burr, and are losing interest in the job.

Any man caught absent without an excuse when he is supposed to be working will be fired on the spot and will lose the final two weeks' pay, Clark said.

How many of us can afford to lose two weeks pay, whether it was 1958 or today?

Johanna Eubank is an online content producer for the Arizona Daily Star and tucson.com. Contact her at jeubank@tucson.com

About Tales from the Morgue: The "morgue," is what those in the newspaper business call the archives. Before digital archives, the morgue was a room full of clippings and other files of old newspapers.