Monday, July 6, 2015
The Associated Press reports that the contempt-of-court case dogging Sheriff Arpaio is not his only legal trouble. He is scheduled for an August 10 trial in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice that alleges a range of civil rights violations, including allegations that Arpaio's office discriminated against Latinos and retaliated against its critics. The Justice Department's case is separate from the racial profiling lawsuit filed against Arpaio. The sheriff lost that case when the court ruled that his officers singled out Latinos in their regular traffic and immigration patrols. The profiling case has sprawled into contempt-of-court proceedings against Arpaio for his acknowledged disobedience of court orders.
The Justice Department's lawsuit alleges that the MSCO retaliated against critics of his immigration enforcement policies and county officials and judges who were at odds with the sheriff in legal and political disputes. It further alleges the sheriff's office has discriminated against Latinos in business raids aimed at cracking down on identity theft and punished Latino jail inmates with limited English skills for speaking Spanish.
Not avoiding controversial statements on the eve of the latest trial, Sheriff Arpaio in a radio interview stated that he was pretty much convinced that President Obama's birth certificate, released in response to the claims of the birthers that he was not born in the United States and thus was not eligible to be President, was a fraudulent document.