Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio was officially charged Tuesday with criminal contempt of court when a federal judge affixed her signature to a Rule 42 order to show cause. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio officially charged with criminal contempt:
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was officially charged Tuesday with criminal contempt of court when a federal judge affixed her signature, a formality that throws the lawman’s political and personal future into a level of crisis never before seen in his 23 years in office.
Criminal-contempt charges have loomed over Arpaio since 2015. A criminal trial was the worst-case scenario for the sheriff after he admitted to violating a federal judge’s order to stop enforcing civil immigration laws.
A trial is set for Dec. 6 in U.S. District Court in Phoenix. If he’s convicted, the 84-year-old sheriff could face up to six months in jail.
While symbolic, the order does little to illuminate the case’s potential outcomes.
It remains unclear whether the charge against Arpaio is a misdemeanor or felony. If convicted of a felony, under state law, the sheriff would have to resign his office, which could cost the sheriff his job even if he is re-elected.