Sheriff Arpaio will face federal charges
If he’s “America’s toughest sheriff,” why does he hate the Constitution so much?
Federal prosecutors say they will file criminal contempt-of-court charges against Sheriff Joe Arpaio for disobeying orders to stop his immigration patrols.
The announcement in federal court Tuesday sets in motion criminal proceedings against the sheriff just as he seeks a seventh term in office.
A judge previously recommended criminal contempt charges against Arpaio but left it up to federal prosecutors to actually bring the case. Prosecutor John Keller said in court that the government will bring charges, with the next step being a court filing that’s akin to a criminal complaint.
Arpaio could face up to six months in jail if convicted of misdemeanor contempt.
The Arizona Republic adds:
The move has few precedents in U.S. history, as prosecutors endorsed a federal judge’s findings that the lawman intentionally violated the judge’s orders.
Arpaio has not yet officially been charged. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton asked the federal government to write an order to show cause, by Wednesday, for her to sign. That will serve as a charging document for the case to go forward against Arpaio only.
And it may not be over:
DOJ attorney John Keller said the government will continue to investigate additional allegations against Arpaio, two aides and a defense attorney for concealing evidence — and therefore obstruction of justice — but will not proceed with a criminal case at this time.