The former Maricopa County sheriff emerges as head of a conservative non-profit.
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Arizona Republic columnist Ed Montini weighs in on Sherff Joe Arpaio’s re-election loss. Video by azcentral
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With a federal judge’s signature on a proposed order initially submitted by prosecutors Oct. 17, the deal is sealed: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is criminally charged with federal contempt of court.
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Viridiana Hernandez talks about the “Arrest Arpaio Not the People” anti-Sheriff Joe Arpaio protest, which was held outside Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse in Phoenix. Nick Oza/azcentral.com
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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attorney Mel Mcdonald addresses the media outside the federal courthouse in Phoenix. Nick Oza/azcentral.com
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Protesters demonstrate against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio outside federal court on Oct. 11, 2016. azcentral.com
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Maricopa County Supervisors on Sept. 21 approved an extra $4.5 million in legal fees to cover costs with a long-running racial-profiling case involving the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
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The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is eliminating pay raises for some of its jail detention staff to help foot the growing bill for a racial-profiling case, but they considered several other options, including closing the famous Tent City jail.
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A federal judge issued sweeping reforms over the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s internal affairs division, stripping its leaders of autonomy over disciplinary actions related to the long-running racial-profiling case against the agency.
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A federal judge has found Sheriff Joe Arpaio in civil contempt of federal court.
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Arpaio back in action
Ed Montini weighs in on Arpaio’s loss
Arpaio officially charged with criminal contempt
Inside the Sheriff Joe Arpaio protest
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attorney speaks
Protesters demonstrate against Arpaio outside federal court
MCSO’s legal bills keep growing in racial-profiling case
MCSO considered closing Tent City
Arpaio stripped of internal affairs oversight
Arpaio in contempt of federal court
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attorneys hope to call U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a witness at Arpaio’s criminal-contempt trial.
The announcement, in a federal court filing, adds to a recent flurry of activity in the case against the longtime lawman.
Last week, Arpaio’s lead defense attorney dropped out of the case, three weeks ahead of the scheduled trial. Arpaio’s two new attorneys on Wednesday helped persuade a federal judge to delay the trial up to two months.
On Wednesday evening, the new attorneys decided to shake up the witness list as well by announcing they hope to call Sessions to the stand.
Their filing comes one day after the nation’s chief prosecutor made three stops in Arizona, promising a crackdown on illegal immigration.
Arpaio faces one count of criminal contempt for failing to abide by a judge’s orders to halt his immigration-enforcement operations. The same judge later found these operations amounted to racial profiling of Latinos.
Sessions’ name appears as a supplement to the original witness list, which is a predictable roster of the former sheriff’s aides. The amended list also includes “Agent Carey Crocker,” although this person’s relation to the case was not immediately clear.
It is also unclear what the defense team hopes to gain by a Sessions appearance. Critics have speculated that Arpaio would try to tap into his good relationship with President Donald Trump in an attempt to untangle his legal woes.
Arpaio, Trump and Sessions all share a hard-line stance on immigration. And they all believe local police should aid the federal government in its enforcement efforts, which is the issue at the core of Arpaio’s case.
But despite the friendlier administration, there has been no reprieve for Arpaio to date. Justice Department prosecutors have battled his every bid to stall the case, and were ready to go to trial on April 25. The court date has since been postponed to June.
The Arizona Republic was unable to immediately reach defense attorneys for comment Wednesday evening.
The chances of Sessions actually appearing on the stand are almost nonexistent, said Paul Charlton, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona.
Charlton said several regulations come into play when someone attempts to subpoena a federal employee. Arpaio’s attorneys would have to show it was appropriate and necessary to call Sessions to the stand, Charlton said, and will almost certainly face the objections of federal prosecutors.
“There is almost no circumstance I can envision in which he would be allowed to come forward and testify,” Charlton said.
Charlton said although there has been speculation that the Trump administration would seek to drop charges or pardon Arpaio, asking Sessions to appear as a witness would be completely separate from that process.
Further, Charlton said, it is doubtful that Sessions’ testimony would add value to the case.
“Even if Jeff Sessions were to say he salutes and applauds Joe Arpaio’s attempts at curbing illegal immigration, that has nothing to do with the bench trial,” Charlton said. “This judge is not going to put up with any nonsense.”
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