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Justice Department Gives Second Ultimatum in Sheriff Arpaio Investigation

Written by Subject: Immigration

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County, Arizona, man who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” has until Sept. 10 to comply with a Justice Department request to explain his office’s “operations, policies and procedures” involving the arrest and detention of Hispanics, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.

The Department has been investigating the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for alleged civil rights violations. Officials set the deadline following a meeting Tuesday with Arpaio’s attorneys in Washington. 

“If we do not receive clear and specific agreement for all of the [requests], we will conclude that completion cannot be achieved by voluntary means,” Judy Preston, acting chief of the agency’s Special Litigation Section, wrote to Sheriff’s Office attorney Robert Driscoll.

The Department has outlined 51 requests for documents and information on how the Sheriff's Office conducts traffic stops and searches, trains new recruits and treats prisoners held in county jails.  Officials also asked for access to arrest records from Jan. 2008 and to interview officers and inmates at county facilities.

An attorney for the Sheriff’s Office said he is preparing a response to Preston’s request but reiterated complaints that the Department’s allegations of wrongdoing remain unclear.

“I now know after the meeting that they involve Hispanics, but they refuse to provide any specific allegations,” said Driscoll.  “This case is pretty unusual, I think. They don’t seem to have any evidence.”

“They already have in their possession reams and reams and reams of materials on what we would speculate is the thrust of their investigation,” he added.

The Department is conducting the civil rights investigation under a federal provision that permits the government to scrutinize state agencies that receive federal funding.  If the agency is deemed to have engaged in discriminatory behavior it could risk losing federal grants.

The Sheriff’s Office is also facing a separate, ongoing federal grand jury investigation in Arizona examining allegations of corruption allegations and mismanagement.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department increased pressure on Arpaio, demanding compliance with its investigation by Aug. 17, but attorneys had complained the demands were unclear.

-- Devin Dwyer


3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Dennis Andersen
Entered on:

 Unlike the Saddam Hussein Nobama regime Sherrif Joe IS enforcing the LAW against ILLEGAL aliens and protecting the citizens of the U.S.! The U.S. Constitution refers to INALIENABLE rights, NOT ILLEGAL alien rights , pull your head out Commucrats! The Commucrats want citizens murdered by ILLEGALS, social programs bankrupted by ILLEGALS, jobs held by ILLEGALS, crimes committed by ILLEGALS because they are not affected by ILLEGALS due to them living in a elevated,insulated world away from ILLEGALS!  They want to grant amnesty AGAIN (remember the amnesty granted in the 80's) to ILLEGALS to get their vote and stay in tyrannical power!

Comment by
Entered on:

I fully Support Sheriff Joe. There is no evidence of race having anything to do with arrests. Joe and his deputys don't just grab hispanics because they look illegal they arrest those rgardless of race commiting crimes...Some do turn out to be IAs....Get over it!

Go Joe!

Comment by William Crum
Entered on:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, should be arrested with interfering with a federal investigation and removed from office.  Fear mongering citizens with arrest for attaining information is illegal to me. What does this guy have to do to get arrested? Are the Libertarians of Sheriff Joe?