Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff" (the guy whines like a crybaby anytime he is criticized, how tough is that?) has had a very bad year heading into the 2012 election cycle.
Without going into the full litany of misdeeds and mismanagement by this buffoon, the most recent outrage has been 400-plus botched sex-crimes investigations. Arpaio critics urge officials to call for his resignation:
"Simply screwing up in your job doesn't create criminal liability," said Maricopa Couty Attorney Bill Montgomery, adding he would not "join the chorus" calling for Arpaio's resignation.
Montgomery said it is not his call to hold Arpaio accountable for the bungled cases, but instead is up to voters in 2012.
No, but it does mean that you should resign or be fired for neglect of duties or utter incompetence. That's a real vote of confidence there from the County Attorney, by the way. With friends like these...
The other shoe dropped today with a long awaited U.S. Justice Department investigation into racial profiling by the Maricopa County Sheriff Department. The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports Feds say Arpaio’s office has pattern of discriminatory practices against Latinos - Arizona Capitol Times:
Federal authorities say a civil rights investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has found some of the most egregious racial profiling in the country ever.
The three-year investigation found reasonable cause to believe that sheriff’s deputies racially profiled Latino drivers, illegally arrested and detained Latinos, retaliated against critics of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s policies, and discriminated against inmates who don’t speak English by punishing them and denying them critical services.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who heads the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, said investigators pored through tens of thousands of pages of documents, interviewed Arpaio and his command staff, interviewed dozens of deputies, staff and inmates and statisticians and experts in racial profiling and police practices.
One expert, who the Department of Justice refused to name, did a statistical analysis of traffic stops and found that Latino drivers were between 4 and 9 times more likely to be stopped than non-Latino drivers.
“Overall, the expert concluded that his case involves the most egregious racial profiling in the United States that he has ever personally seen in the course of his work, observed in litigation, or reviewed in professional literature,” Perez said.
Perez said the next step is to seek a court-enforceable agreement to implement a corrective plan of action that would have oversight by a judge.
Perez said the department is giving the Sheriff’s Office 60 days to come up with a solution or face litigation and put millions of dollars in federal funding at risk.
The federal government is also investigating the Sheriff’s Office on allegations it abused its power in investigations of Maricopa County officials over the years, but the results of that investigation aren’t expected to be announced at the press conference.
The report can be found here.
The Associated Press adds:
The Justice Department's conclusions in the civil probe mark the federal government's harshest rebuke of a national political fixture who has risen to prominence for his immigration crackdowns and became coveted endorsement among candidates in the GOP presidential field.
Apart from the civil rights probe, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.
The civil rights report said federal authorities will continue to investigate complaints of deputies using excessive force against Latinos, whether the sheriff's office failed to provide adequately police services in Hispanic communities and a large number of sex-crimes cases that were assigned to the agency but weren't followed up on or investigated at all.
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"Arpaio's own actions have helped nurture MCSO's culture of bias," wrote Thomas Perez, who heads the Justice Department's civil rights division, adding that the sheriff frequently gave such racially charged letters to some of his top aides and saved them in his own files."
MCSO is broken in a number of critical respects. The problems are deeply rooted in MCSO's culture," he said Thursday.The Justice Department's expert on measuring racial profiling said it's the most egregious case of racial profiling in the nation that he has seen or reviewed in professional literature, Perez said.
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The report will require Arpaio to set up effective policies against discrimination, improve training and make other changes that would be monitored for compliance by a judge. Arpaio faces a Jan. 4 deadline for saying whether he wants to work out an agreement. If not, the federal government will sue him and let a judge decide the complaint.
* * *
The report also said he and some top staffers tried to silence people who have spoken out against the sheriff's office by arresting people without cause, filing meritless lawsuits against opponents and starting investigations of critics.
One example cited by the Justice Department is former top Arpaio aide David Hendershott, who filed bar complaints against attorneys critical of the agency along with bringing judicial complaints against judges who were at odds with the sheriff. All complaints were dismissed.
The anti-corruption squad's cases against two county officials and a judge collapsed in court before going to trial and have been criticized by politicians at odds with the sheriff as trumped up. Arpaio has defended the investigations as a valid attempt at rooting out corruption in county government.
* * *
The Justice Department said it hadn't yet established a pattern of alleged wrongdoing by the sheriff's office in the three areas where they will continue to investigation: complaints of excessive force against Latinos, botched sex-crimes cases and immigration efforts that have hurt the agency's trust with the Hispanic community.Federal authorities will continue to investigate whether the sheriff's office has limited the willingness of witnesses and victims to report crimes or talk to Arpaio's office.
Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio is a buffoon who gives professional law enforcement officers a bad name. He has got to go for the sake of the MCSO. If he will not do the honorable thing and resign, then Maricopa County voters must turn him out of office for his demonstrated incompetence and abuses of power. If Maricopa County voters fail to toss him out of office, it will say more about their lack of character and judgment than it will about Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio's lack of character and judgment.