PHOENIX — The U.S. Justice Department is seeking documents that Maricopa
County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office was given by a consultant hired to help in a
secret investigation involving a judge in the sheriff’s racial profiling case.
The request for documents provided by computer consultant Dennis Montgomery was
revealed Friday in a court filing. It’s unknown what the Justice Department
plans to do with the documents.
Two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Murray Snow said Arpaio intended to show
that Snow and the Justice Department were conspiring against him in the
profiling lawsuit and another case.
Snow had said Montgomery told Arpaio’s office he could use computer data to
figure out what Snow and the Justice Department had been talking about. Arpaio
has said his office eventually lost confidence in Montgomery’s credibility.
The judge has delivered some of the most crushing legal blows in the sheriff’s
22-year tenure, including a ruling that his officers racially profiled Latinos.
Messages left with the Justice Department and Montgomery’s attorney weren’t
immediately returned Friday.
Arpaio attorney Michele Iafrate objected to the Justice Department’s request,
saying in a court filing Friday that the sheriff’s lawyers haven’t even seen the
request and should be given a chance to review it.
Iafrate also said the Justice Department isn’t a party in the profiling case,
so it’s unclear what authority the federal agency has in claiming it has a right
to the documents.