Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is on trial in federal court for contempt of court for failing to obey a court order. The judge in this case will determine if he is guilty of civil contempt and has the option to refer the case for criminal prosecution if he finds the evidence warrants it.
This is very serious stuff, obviously.
This week’s Think Tank brings in two of the most informed individuals one could imagine to comment on the legal issues involved.
Rick Romley was Maricopa County Attorney from 1989 until 2004 and interim county attorney in 2010. For over a decade, he and Arpaio were the top two law enforcement officials in Maricopa County.
Paul Charlton was appointed U.S. Attorney for Arizona by President George W. Bush in 2001 and served in that capacity until 2007. Should Arpaio be referred for criminal contempt, it is the U.S. Attorney’s office that will prosecute him.