After 24 years in office as the Sheriff of Maricopa County, “America’s toughest sheriff” has lost his bid this week for an unprecedented seventh term. The 84-year old Republican was ousted by Democrat Paul Penzone, a retired Phoenix cop, who had criticized Arpaio for spending too much time promoting himself, and too little time promoting public safety. Arpaio has been praised or vilified – depending upon your political viewpoint – for his stance on immigration, harsh treatment of prisoners (“jail tents”), conducting personal vendettas, and racial profiling.
Arpaio’s defeat came notwithstanding raising over $12 million for his reelection campaign, and public support from Donald Trump as well as actors and other famous personalities. Basically, Arpaio’s mounting legal problems outweighed the support he had among some in the community. Those problems have already cost the taxpayers $130 million in legal costs defending Arpaio’s actions.
Bring on the Criminal Charges
The straw that broke the camel’s back in this case was the federal lawsuit involving alleged racial profiling of Hispanics. It wasn’t the profiling itself that ultimately smashed Arpaio’s empire. Rather, it was the decision by Federal District Judge Murray Snow, who presided over the constitutional challenge, that Arpaio and some of his underlings had intentionally violated Snow’s rulings during the course of the trial.
The contempt ruling was bad enough, but to add insult to injury, late last month the feds decided to act on Judge Snow’s contempt ruling, when U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton requested the United States Attorney’s Office to file criminal charges associated with the contempt orders. Theoretically, at least, Arpaio could find himself in prison at the end of it all.
Say it ain’t so, Joe . . .
Shoeless Joe Jackson played major league baseball in the early 1900’s. He was a great outfielder, loved by fans, at least until he was associated with the Black Sox Scandal, which included an attempt to “fix” the 1919 World Series. Like Joe Arpaio, Shoeless Joe had his supporters, but many came to realize that their support may have been misplaced. Once again, we hear the cry in the background, say it ain’t so, Joe!
Law Offices of David A. Black
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Phoenix, AZ 85004