PHOENIX — An attorney for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has requested to withdraw from the sheriff’s federal contempt of court case, citing ethical reasons.
Tim Casey said he was ethically required to leave the case after Arpaio admitted under oath last week he had secretly investigated U.S. District Judge Murray Snow.
KTAR legal analyst Monica Lindstrom said Casey’s affiliation with Arpaio’s investigation is the reasoning behind the withdrawal request.
“(Arpaio), when he was on the stand, told Judge Snow that his attorney, Tim Casey, hired a private investigator to investigate Judge Snow,” she said.
Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan denied Arpaio’s claim, meaning Casey could be called as a witness in the case.
“When you become a witness in the case, you can no longer adequately represent your client,” Lindstrom said, adding that Casey’s alleged involvement could cause a conflict of interest.
Casey is representing Arpaio in two immigration-related cases.
An attorney close to the case said there is no word yet on whether the court has approved the withdrawal.
Arpaio, three current aides and a retired sheriff’s official could be held in contempt of court for violating a 2011 order that barred the office from conducting immigration patrols.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.