Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio Convicted of Criminal Contempt

Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio Convicted of Criminal Contempt

“A federal judge on Monday found Joe Arpaio — the 85-year-old former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona — guilty of criminal contempt for violating a federal court order to stop a controversial policing tactic to catch undocumented immigrants.

“Not only did defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise," Judge Susan Bolton wrote in her decision.

She added that Arpaio's actions showed "a flagrant disregard" for a federal judge's order preventing the former sheriff from "detaining persons for further investigation without reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed."

Arpaio "willfully violated the order by failing to do anything to ensure his subordinates’ compliance and by directing them to continue to detain persons for whom no criminal charges could be filed," Bolton wrote.

Arpaio, who styled himself as "America's toughest sheriff," lost a reelection bid in November after 23 years in office. He spent many of those years as a polarizing figure for how he ran his department: He housed inmates in a "Tent City" and made them wear pink underwear, and he campaigned for President Trump and promoted the idea that President Obama's birth certificate was a fraud.”

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