Federal Judge G. Murray Snow recommended on Friday that Arizona prosecutors proceed with criminal contempt charges against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and several of his staff for violating court orders.
Arpaio’s office has built it’s reputation around his strong rhetoric and his relentless crackdowns against undocumented immigrants, and it was for those reasons that he was slapped with a racial-profiling court case back in 2007.
Snow’s written order says that criminal charges are justified against Arpaio due to three alleged incidents of violating court orders, as well as for false statements under oath. It remains to be seen whether federal prosecutors will take the case, or if Snow will appoint a special prosecutor to address it.
Arpaio and and Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan have “a history of obfuscation and subversion of this court’s orders that is as old as this case,” said Snow. “There is also probable cause to believe that many if not all of the statements were made in an attempt to obstruct any inquiry into their further wrongdoing and negligence…”
If charged and convicted, Arpaio could face penalties such as fines or jail time.
[Image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org