PHOENIX — Contempt-of-court hearings against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe
Arpaio for acknowledged violations of a judge’s orders in his racial profiling
case will move forward this fall.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow requested Friday that attorneys for Arpaio and
those pressing the suit clear dates in late September through early November.
He also ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to retrieve an additional hard drive
from the sheriff’s office and make a copy of it. Independent monitors for the
judge said they wanted an original drive that was the source of some content
that was already turned over.
Last week, Snow leveled an angry rebuke toward the sheriff’s lawyers for
failing to turn over documents that had been requested months ago. His criticism
centered on the agency’s failure to hand over more than 1,400 identification
documents in a related investigation into allegations that deputies pocketed
items during busts. The judge also focused on the agency’s refusal to turn over
50 hard drives from Arpaio’s secret investigation involving the judge.
Snow dealt Arpaio one of his toughest legal defeats in 2013 when he concluded
deputies had racially profiled Latinos. Snow has said Arpaio’s investigation of
him was intended to show an alleged conspiracy between the judge and federal
authorities who are pressing a separate civil rights lawsuit against the
Arpaio, who has been accused of retaliating against his critics, insists there
were no investigations of Snow.
Earlier this year, Arpaio acknowledged a contempt-of-court violation for
failing to hand over traffic-stop recordings that had been requested before the
Five years ago, the sheriff’s office acknowledged that its officers had deleted
emails on the sheriff’s immigration patrols and destroyed records of traffic
Arpaio initially failed — but was eventually forced — to turn over his own
personal immigration file that included letters from supporters who sought
crackdowns on day laborers.
The contempt-of-court hearings could lead to fines, increased oversight of the
agency and a possible criminal contempt hearing.
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