Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known as "America's Toughest Sheriff" and a longtime -- and controversial -- proponent of aggressive immigration enforcement, is in hot water once again.
Fernanda Santos for the New York Times reports that federal prosecutors yesterday charged Sheriff Arpaio with criminal contempt of court, saying he willfully violated court orders in a suit finding that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office engaged in a pattern of profiling Latinos, including U.S. citizens and legal immigrants, in law enforcement efforts. If convicted, Sheriff Arpaio could face up to six months in jail. The authorities were still weighing a charge of obstruction of justice, which could carry more severe punishment.
Sheriff Arpaio is seeking re-election in November to his seventh term. A recent poll shows him trailing in the race.
The court set a tentative trial date of Dec. 6.
Arpaio protests in Arizona; video courtesy of Arizona Republic