Joe Arpaio

Justice Department to Charge Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio for Contempt of Court Over His Immigration Law Enforcement

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A criminal case against the notorious Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa county, will lead to a criminal contempt charge against him, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today. The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, has demanded an official order to show cause from the DOJ, which she will have to sign for the charge to be official.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Arpaio is accused of violating an order put down by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow in December 2011 that was meant to force him to stop Arpaio and his law enforcement officers from enforcing federal immigration law in a discriminatory manner.

Judge Bolton wants a sentencing cap of 6 months on the charge, which would make it a misdemeanor contempt charge. That mere misdemeanor would not disqualify him necessarily from continuing as sheriff. He's running for re-election this year and recent polling hasn't looked good for him.

Details from local radio station in Arizona KTAR:

Arpaio has acknowledged violating an order from Snow but insisted it wasn't intentional.

Snow disagreed. He said Arpaio kept up the patrols, for which he is well-known around the country, in an effort to retain office during the 2012 elections…

Snow also requested criminal charges against Arpaio and his second in command, Jerry Sheridan, for withholding 50 hard drives in a secret investigation that critics say targeted Snow.

The racial profiling lawsuit that Arpaio lost more than three years ago grew into a contempt case.

Arpaio and three aides had been found in civil contempt for defying Snow's orders in a years-old racial profiling case in the spring. The sheriff's office had refused to stop targeting Latinos in patrols despite federal directives to do so.

County taxpayers have been tagged for $48 million in the profiling case and they will be forking over more: costs were expected to reach $72 million by next summer.

As J.D. Tuccille reported here last year, Arpaio has publicly admitted to being contemptuous of Judge G. Murray Snow's order that he cease certain of his immigration law enforcement practices. Lucy Steigerwald reported for us on the beginnings of the Justice Department's investigation into Arpaio's immigration law enforcement practices.

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  1. Who does this Arapaio person think he is?!? A Friend of Bill?

    1. Obama’s got a pen and a phone. Sheriff Joe has a badge and a gun. Is executive overreach now a problem?

  2. Holy shit, he talked about Lucy.

    Son of a bitch must pay.

  3. Lucy Steigerwald reported for us on the beginnings of the Justice Department’s investigation into Arpaio’s immigration law enforcement practices.

    Someone’s a rule breaker.

    1. Brian’s Lucy privileges were grandfathered in. It’s not like he’s Shackelfjord or Eddie Kray.

  4. Its a great day for law enforcement in Arizona. Down here in Tucson, we got this:

    Pima County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Chris Radtke has been brought up on federal charges related to the mismanagement of public funds, authorities said Monday night.

    The Star reported last November that when Radtke’s niece took over operations of a caf? inside Sheriff’s headquarters in 2012, the department spent more than $10,000 on equipment for the space, and allowed her to run her restaurant rent-free and without a county contract.

    http://tucson.com/news/local/p…..bc025.html

    1. Ciaramella’s Arizona asset forfeiture story this morning was pretty depressing, though.

    2. And then in Pinal County there’s that guy who warns that Mexican cartel assassins and drug mules are roaming the desert.

      1. There are in Pima County, which is on the border. Lotta drugs come in through Arizona, some driven, some walked. Where there’s drugs, there’s cartel enforcers.

        Pinal County, not on the border? Doubt it very much. The mules get picked up in Pima County, and their loads driven to Phoenix or wherever. Nobody walks from Mexico, through Pima County, and then into/through Pinal County.

        1. Not quite true. The cartels have spotters in the Silverbell mountains and in parts of the Ironwood forest. If you drive the backroads out there, you’ll see plenty of smuggling evidence.

    3. The number one assistant off’d himself. The number two was just indicted. I don’t think they’re done at the PCSD. I’m betting more heads roll.

  5. “Snow also requested criminal charges against Arpaio and his second in command, Jerry Sheridan, for withholding 50 hard drives in a secret investigation that critics say targeted Snow.”

    Hillary defense.

  6. Lucy Steigerwald. Damn there’s a blast from the past….

  7. Snow also requested criminal charges against Arpaio and his second in command, Jerry Sheridan, for withholding 50 hard drives in a secret investigation that critics say targeted Snow.

    Should have wiped them with like a cloth or something.

  8. can’t wait for PM links

    Bakeries Remain Central Locus of Culture-War

    customers have been leaving Yelp reviews criticizing Fat Cupcake for its “Mr. President” pastry. The cupcake is described as an Oreo Cookie baked inside white cake with cookies n’ cream buttercream.

    Owner Anjelica Hayes says she is black, so the cupcake cannot be racist.

    1. That sounds kinda tasty.

    2. Owner Anjelica Hayes says she is black, so the cupcake cannot be racist.

      Take that, bitches. You can’t fuck with her lived experience.

  9. Really – Where do you get PCP these days?

    I’m not saying i have lots of experience with drug dealers…. well, ok fine, i’ve known a few. I’m just saying, who the fuck is the source of retail PCP? Is it something you can only get if you have a track record of being a batshit psycho

    1. Usually mixed in with other shit. And yes, it’s easy to get.

      1. Never heard it offered or seen it in actual use aside from some dumb ass Puerto Ricans who claimed their weed was “dusted” when it was really just ammonia from being shipped giving them a headache

        If it were “fun”, I feel like I should have done it already

  10. So who presides over the contempt trial? I assume all of the current US district court judges will recuse themselves as a conflict of inter… *hah hah hah*

  11. That mere misdemeanor would not disqualify him necessarily from continuing as sheriff. He’s running for re-election this year and recent polling hasn’t looked good for him.

    I still think he’s going to win. If only because the alt-right trash Trump has energized to the polls love him along with Republicans/conservatives in general.

    1. He has the hyper energized Sun city folk. They think he’s the only guy saving them from the Mexican horde.

    2. If he wins again it will be for the same reason he’s won all the times before – he’s got the Paradise Valley crowd (rich, white, and very, very old) scared shitless about the Brown Menace. Oh and the White Trash menace – meth’ll make you do crazy shit y’know. And the Terrorists.

  12. Oh please find this freak guilty and put him in his own jail. Make him wear the pink clothes and eat on $0.75/day. Please, please, please.

    1. Federal Tennis Club prison.Maybe the same one with an Illinois Governor?

  13. Hmmmm, I wonder when they’re going to charge Sherifs in sanctuary cities with NOT enforcing immigration laws.

    Oh, wait, I forgot the punishment for ignoring laws only applies to members of the WRONG party….

    1. State police do not have an obligation to enforce *Federal* law just as Federal police do not have an obligation to enforce state laws.

      And, frankly, we’d be better off if they all stayed in their own patch.

  14. Speaking of jailing political opponents…

    “You know nothing, Judge Snow.”

    Held in contempt by the Bitch of Bolton.

  15. “Judge Bolton wants a sentencing cap of 6 months on the charge, which would make it a misdemeanor contempt charge.”

    If I had to guess, I’d say that the 6-month cap is designed to deny Arpaio a jury trial.

    There are certain precedents saying that if contempt is punishable by 6 months or under it’s a “petty crime” and not subject to the right to a jury trial.

    Doesn’t Arpaio have the right to a jury trial? Especially if he’s charged with acts which seem very clearly serious, not “petty”?

    1. Just to nitpick, here’s the 6th Amendment, see if you can find the “criminal contempt exception” –

      “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

      1. That’s why he’s being charged with *civil* contempt.

        Like speeding tickets – speeding is not a ‘crime’, its a civil infraction.

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