Maricopa County votes to settle Sheriff Joe Arpaio lawsuit

Jul 15, 2015, 1:28 PM | Updated: 1:51 pm


PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to settle a lawsuit involving Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The suit, originally filed by the Department of Justice in 2012, claimed Arpaio’s office retaliated against critics of his immigration enforcement policies and county officials and judges who were at odds with the sheriff in legal and political disputes.

It also alleged the sheriff’s office has discriminated against Latinos in business raids aimed at cracking down on identity theft and punished Latino jail inmates with limited English skills for speaking Spanish.

The sheriff denied the allegations and called the investigation a politically motivated attack by the Obama administration.

Arpaio’s office will now be required to establish an anti-retaliatory policy and procedures for workplace raids. If the raids involve more than three suspects, MCSO will be required to notify the federal government.

“I think the assessment portion of it is what the community is looking for,” Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo said. “They’re looking to make sure the sheriff is making changes and he is going to abide by those changes.”

The sheriff’s office also must offer language assistance for inmates, including translators or translation services. Deputies will be required to let staff know when a detainee has limited English skills and publish all important documents — including its website — in Spanish.

The Justice Department case also alleged racial profiling by Arpaio’s officers, a matter which has not been settled. A short trial on the accusation is expected to begin Aug. 10.

The Justice Department’s case is separate from a racial profiling lawsuit filed against Arpaio by immigrant rights advocates. The sheriff lost that case two years ago when a judge concluded his officers singled out Latinos in their regular traffic and immigration patrols.

Arpaio is scheduled to appear in court in the profiling case, also on Aug. 10, on civil contempt of court charges.

As of May 18, lawsuits involving Arpaio have cost taxpayers $74,547,478 since 1993. As of June 11, Maricopa County taxpayers paid $4.7 million in attorney fees in the Justice Department case.

Arpaio, 83, has been sheriff of the county for 23 years.

KTAR’s Cooper Rummell and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A Phoenix Police SUV with lights on at a crime scene at night...

Phoenix police arrest 2 suspects linked to home burglary

Phoenix law enforcement arrested two suspects after a break-in on Saturday evening near 43rd Avenue and Northern Avenue.

2 hours ago

File photo of crime scene tape in Phoenix...

David Veenstra

Police investigating fatal hit-and-run collision in north Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a female pedestrian in north Phoenix on Saturday.

4 hours ago

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village. (MCSO Photo)...

David Veenstra

Motorcyclist dead after crash in Desert View Village, near Cave Creek

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village, near Cave Creek, according to authorities.

4 hours ago

World's Biggest Bounce House (XL Event Lab photo)...

Damon Allred

World’s Largest Bounce House coming to Phoenix for weekend stop on nationwide tour

The Big Bounce America is bringing its coterie of inflatable attractions to Phoenix this weekend, featuring eight inflatables.

5 hours ago

Singer Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant performs onstage during day two of the 2021 Pilgrimage Musi...

Damon Allred

Grammy-winning Cage The Elephant announces Phoenix stop during North American tour

Grammy Award-winning rock band Cage The Elephant announced a stop in Phoenix on its upcoming summer tour in conjunction with a new album.

6 hours ago

SkyBridge Arizona is an emerging business park in Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. It, along with othe...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Major aerospace developments near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport move forward

The skyline around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has some changes in store, including major aerospace develoments.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Maricopa County votes to settle Sheriff Joe Arpaio lawsuit