Feds Charge Sheriff Arpaio With Criminal Contempt-of-Court

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been officially charged with criminal contempt-of-court over claims he ignored a judge’s order in a racial profiling case. The move by the federal government comes just two weeks before Arpaio stands before the voters of Maricopa County for re-election to his seventh term.

Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick reported on October 11, that prosecutors for the Department of Justice were preparing charges for his allegedly violations of a court order on racial profiling. At that time, Judge Susan Bolton asked the prosecutors to write a “show cause order” for her to sign.

Arpaio claimed the charges by the Obama Justice Department are politically motivated in an ad last week, Fox News reported on Tuesday evening. Arpaio’s lawyer, Mel McDonald told Fox News he believes “that when the final chapter is written, he (Arpaio) will be vindicated.”

Breitbart Texas reported:

Arpaio was sued by the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and a law firm that Eric H. Holder, Jr. works for. Holder was a partner at the firm for six years prior to his appointment as U.S. Attorney General, and Holder returned to the firm after he left his post as Attorney General. The law firm has been reported as “a key player in the opposition to Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law.”

Arpaio has criticized Holder for among other things, how he handled Operation Fast and Furious, and for not being a supporter of peace officers. Holder was held in contempt of Congress in June 2012 over the ATF’s Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. There were 255 House members who voted to hold the sitting Attorney General in contempt, including 17 Democrats. Holder and the DOJ would not comply with an October 2011 subpoena to turn over thousands of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. Breitbart Texas has reported extensively about Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry who was slain in Arizona while on patrol. Two of the guns involved in the ambush were eventually tied to the Fast and Furious operation. After two officers were shot execution-style in New York, Arpaio criticized New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Arpaio has long been a critic and nemesis of President Obama. In June 2014, Breitbart TV reported that Arpaio told NewsMax TV that he believes Obama intentionally caused the current crisis of thousands of unaccompanied minors flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border to force “Congress to do something” or “shove some more executive orders down our throat.”

AZCentral previously reported, “Arpaio’s charge stems from a December 2011 federal court order that barred his agency from enforcing federal immigration law. It is alleged that his deputies continued to do so, however, for at least 18 months thereafter.”

Arpaio had previously acknowledged violating District Judge Murray Snow’s previous order on the county enforcing federal immigration law but said he did so unintentionally, Fox News stated. The judge disagreed and said he did so to help his re-election chances.

The charge is a misdemeanor that could land the 84-year-old sheriff in jail for up to six months if he is convicted. The misdemeanor would not stop the seven-term sheriff from continuing to serve as Maricopa County’s sheriff.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.



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