Joe Arpaio’s request for trial by jury is rejected by high court
PHOENIX — The U.S. Supreme Court rejected former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s request for trial by jury as a criminal-contempt case against him begins Monday.
Arpaio had requested in May that a jury determine his fate rather than a judge. One of Arpaio’s lawyers said he believed the self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff” would have more success at beating the charge with a jury.
Instead, he will face U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in a Phoenix courtroom.
Bolton said in October 2016 that the case would move forward. The trial has been delayed more than once since then, the most recent bumping the start from April 25.
The 85-year-old ex-sheriff had admitted in court in 2015 that he had ignored a federal court order to stop his immigration patrols but that he didn’t do it on purpose.
Another district judge, Murray Snow said in a racial-profiling case against Arpaio that then-sheriff ignored the order because he believed his immigration efforts would help his 2012 campaign.
Arpaio would go on to try to have Snow removed from the case.
Arpaio faces up to six months in prison if he’s convicted of misdemeanor contempt.
After decades in office, Arpaio was defeated in the 2016 general election by Paul Penzone, who has already shut down his predecessor’s controversial Tent City jail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.