Will justice finally arrive for Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio?

“The most corrupt sheriff in America” finally lost his elected office last Novenber, and now justice may finally arrive for Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio. Criminal contempt trial of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio set to open Monday:

Joe Arpaio — the man, not the lawman — is the defendant in a federal criminal trial scheduled to begin in Phoenix on Monday.

Unlike before, efforts by his attorneys to delay, dismiss or otherwise adjust the trial this time around have not been successful so far.

The court proceeding is scheduled to last for two weeks, with prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section.

The former Maricopa County sheriff is accused of defying a federal judge’s orders that barred Arpaio from enforcing federal immigration law.

The alleged criminal contempt of court happened over a period of 18 months in 2012 and 2013, when Arpaio was still in office.

Arpaio already has been found in civil contempt for the same case. Under the law, the difference between civil and criminal contempt is intent — whether the defendant willfully or unintentionally violated a judge’s order.

Defense attorneys are pursuing a bold strategy: They will argue that U.S. District Judge Murray Snow’s initial order was invalid, or at the very least unclear, and Arpaio is therefore blameless.

“He’s being prosecuted for doing something that the federal government has always told (local law enforcement) to do,” said Jack Wilenchik, one of Arpaio’s attorneys. “It’s an assault on logic to say that local law enforcement cannot even cooperate with federal authorities, if that’s what federal law enforcement wants you to do.”

Defense attorneys are sticking to this tack despite earlier futile efforts to further the narrative.

They have repeatedly sought a jury trial, presuming that an audience without legal acumen would be more likely to sway in their favor. [The court has dened a jury trial.]

Prosecutors have pushed back on this strategy in their pretrial court filings, arguing that the defense is attempting to politicize the case and deflect focus from the issue at hand. Criminal contempt is defined by a deliberate defiance of a court and is not a question of the underlying order.

* * *

Former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton said the defense’s argument is unlikely to hold water with U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, who is presiding over the bench trial.

“Generally, Judge Bolton is a no-nonsense judge who will impartially review the facts and the law,” Charlton said. “And the issue that’s immediately before her is whether Joe Arpaio intentionally violated Judge Snow’s orders.”

10 years in the making

For immigration-rights advocates, this moment in court was a decade in the making — a dramatic finale of what began as a 2007 racial-profiling lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office. Plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union, alleged that the sheriff’s signature immigration patrols violated Latinos’ constitutional rights.

In December 2011, months before the trial was to begin, Snow issued a preliminary injunction over the Sheriff’s Office. The order banned deputies from detaining anyone solely on suspicion that they were undocumented immigrants and without cause to believe a crime had been committed.

In May 2013, Snow officially determined the office had racially profiled Latinos. The following months would introduce multimillion-dollar reforms to the Sheriff’s Office, including anti-bias training, recording devices for deputies and a court-appointed monitor to ensure the agency followed the letter of the law.

But information emerged that the Sheriff’s Office continued to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally for at least 18 months after the judge’s preliminary order — up to May 2013 and maybe beyond. This and other allegations of court violations resulted in a civil-contempt trial that spanned several months in 2015.

Snow found that the defiance of his orders did amount to civil contempt and could be criminal. He referred the case to the Department of Justice.

The trial could be the personal reckoning for the man whom many say ushered in a culture of fear among people without legal status living in the county. Though the Sheriff’s Office as an entity was admonished by a federal judge, and the county forced to pay tens of millions of dollars for reforms, this trial is the first time Arpaio has had personal skin in the game.

The former sheriff, who is 85, could face as much as six months in jail if convicted, although experts say incarceration is unlikely.

There is more background reporting in this report, but you get the gist of it.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice may finally arrive for Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio.

25 Responses to Will justice finally arrive for Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio?

  1. Ex-member of Arpaio Enforcement Squad Testifies Unit Defied Order To Halt Roundups

    PHOENIX — Two ex-members of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration enforcement squad testified against their old boss Wednesday, with one man describing how the agency defied a judicial order to stop rounding up immigrants.

    Arpaio, 85, is charged with misdemeanor contempt of court for disobeying a federal judge’s order to end his patrols that rounded up immigrants suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

    Arpaio created the Human Smuggling Unit that was the main immigration enforcer while he was Maricopa County Sheriff. Prosecutors called a former member of that squad, Lt. Brian Jakowinicz, to the witness stand to describe its immigration efforts from 2012 to 2013.

    Jakowinicz testified that he spoke to the leaders of the unit during that time, and they said the agency’s legal troubles over immigration had been resolved — despite being under an injunction to stop immigration enforcement.

    “They didn’t want … to change anything,” he said. “Everything was running smoothly.”

    The case marks a harsh rebuke against a lawman who became a national political celebrity with his Arizona immigration patrols but lost his bid for a seventh term in office last year amid voter frustration stemming from the huge bill he ran up over his many legal tangles.

  2. Ex-lawyer for Joe Arpaio testifies in the former sheriff’s contempt trial

    A former lawyer for Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was forced to testify Monday in Arpaio’s criminal contempt trial for allegedly violating a judge’s order.

    Arpaio, who lost his bid for re-election, is accused of violating a court order that barred him from detaining people only because he believed they were in the country illegally. His former lawyer, Tim Casey, testified on Monday that he told Arpaio that immigrants could not be detained unless they were arrested on state charges, report the Associated Press, the Phoenix New Times and the Arizona Republic.

    U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton generally allowed Casey to testify about his recollections of conversations, but generally blocked testimony involving hearsay or Casey’s frame of mind, according to the Arizona Republic account. Casey was represented by his own ethics lawyer.

    Prosecutors say Arpaio continued to detain individuals based on a suspicion that they were in the country illegally for at least 17 months after the judge ordered a stop to the arrests. In opening arguments, Justice Department lawyer Victor Salgado said Arpaio’s public statements show he knew he was defying the court order.

    “I’m still gonna do what I’m doing,” Arpaio told reporters in April 2012. “I’m still gonna arrest illegal aliens.”

    Arpaio’s defense lawyer at trial, Dennis Wilenchik, claimed the injunction wasn’t clear and Casey had “dropped the ball” in explaining the order.

  3. John Huppenthal

    Nothing like a few facts to spoil a good story.
    From 2007 to 2015 Maricopa county murders plunged from 294 to 155, a 47 percent reduction. Car thefts went from 33,000 to a stunning10,000.

    But that’s right, you all contrived that poor people don’t have a constitutional right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness if it gets in the way of you accumulating more voting power

    • Guess we an add the 400 + sex crimes that were not investigated during his time as sheriff. That kind of statistic doesn’t seem to be included in your praise of his department.

      Accumulating voting power? What the hell does that even mean? Guess it’s okay for sheriff pink undies to break the law as long as it agrees with you.

      • John Huppenthal

        I am talking about results, not process stats.

        Sheriff Arpaio presided over a reduction in violent crime from 30% above the national average to 15% below for Maricopa County.

        He did this while having jail suicide rates, murder rates and death rates that were significantly below the national average.

        Those are results, outcomes. You are spouting some process stat that, upon investigation, might have some meaning and might not. Were Maricopa County sex crime rates above the national average?

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Gosh, FalconZero, if fat Joe was so great, maybe you can explain why the very conservative voters around here turned on him and sent him packing.

          There’s a few posters around here who can help you out if you get stuck, just ask for help.

          • John Huppenthal

            Not a single voter knew of his crime stat results and almost every voter was deceived about the effectiveness of the operation of his jails.

            His jail suicide rates, jail murder rates and over all jail death rates were below national jail averages – contrary to everything we read in the New Times, The Arizona Republic and heard on Horizon and Sunday Square off.

            Even Arpaio’s campaign consultant and his lawyers believed the bad press. Most people involved in public policy are much like you morons, they don’t know their numbers.

            Its unfortunate because Arpaio’s numbers were very, very good.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            So once again, you’re accusing people of crimes with zero evidence.

            If you cannot prove the Republic, New Times, and on and on, made up the numbers, then you’re lying.

            Hey, remember the time Joe let a Chinese spy steal all of our personal information?

            https://www.propublica.org/article/lizhong-fan

            I’ll answer my question for you. The voters of Arizona turned on Fat Joe because we can’t afford him anymore. 100 million and counting.

            America’s Most Expensive Sheriff.

            I think I’ll take the word of the Republic, and the New Times, until you can back up your lies with facts.

            Because it would seem to be foolish to believe the Master of SockPuppets over respected journalists.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I should probably let you know, America isn’t buying the “fake news” BS.

            Try something else next time.

          • John Huppenthal

            The gross domestic product of Maricopa county over the last 8 years is in excess of $1.2 trillion dollars. So, throw your eensy, weensy lawsuit cost at someone who might be impressed.

            It doesn’t amount to rounding error.

            The value of having a violent crime rate 40 percentile points lower dwarfs that monetary consideration, particularly for poor and lower middle class families who occupy the census codes these crimes took place in and aren’t taking place in now.

        • John Huppenthal

          Phoenix New Times directly fabricated a story on deaths in Arpaio’s jails.

          Big screaming picture with a hangman’s noose. Every sentence hyperventilated. Fabricated percentage for suicides.

          The story was designed to lead any reader to believe that Arpaio was running a slaughterhouse. Completely false, completely fake news.

          Bureau of Justice stats on jail deaths, Morrison Institute census data on jail populations completely blows that story out of the water.

          And, the writer knew it. But, he knew he wouldn’t be called on it because no one was calling him on any of his fake stuff.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Hey, I found that story!

            From Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at 6:30 AM

            By Michael Lacey

            The problem with your version, FalconWeirdo, is that I can check all the names of the dead in that story and find another 5 or 10 stories from more well known publications, and most if not all of those dead people’s families sued Maricop and Joe.

            So you can call the story fake, but the facts are there. And it took me all of about 3 minutes to prove you a liar.

            You are fake news!

            Wow, how ironic!

            http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/prisoners-hang-themselves-in-sheriff-joe-arpaios-jails-at-a-rate-that-dwarfs-other-county-lockups-7845679

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Hey, I found that story!

            From Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at 6:30 AM

            By Michael Lacey

            The problem with your version, FalconWeirdo, is that I can check all the names of the dead in that story and find another 5 or 10 stories from more well known publications, and most if not all of those dead people’s families sued Maricop and Joe.

            So you can call the story fake, but the facts are there. And it took me all of about 3 minutes to prove you a liar.

            You are fake news!

            Wow, how ironic!

            Take out the spaces to go to the link.

            http://www phoenixnewtimes .com/news/prisoners-hang-themselves-in-sheriff-joe-arpaios-jails-at-a-rate-that-dwarfs-other-county-lockups-7845679

          • John Huppenthal

            Now, go back and read the fake story carefully. The 24% is the fake number. A number that has absolutely no meaning and the reporter knew it.

            It is not a suicide rate although it is represented to be a suicide rate.

            The rate of suicides in Arpaio’s jails were below the national jail average, significantly below.

            This is the key sentence, paragraph 30

            “In and of itself, the number is not necessarily out of line with jail deaths in other jurisdictions.”

            In other words, the reporter knew that his story was fake news, that Arpaio’s death rate was below the national jail death rate, significantly below.

            Then he uses a fake number, 24%, to misconstrue the suicide rates of Arapaio’s jails.

            That’s not how jail suicide rates are calculated. They are calculated by dividing suicides by the number of inmates. When you do that, Arpaio’s suicide rates are significantly below national jail suicide rates.

            The entire story is a fraud and you are participating and perpetuating it.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I get what you’re saying, you don’t like the tone or implications of the story.

            But those people actually died, that is not fake news. I know this is not a popular opinion in conservative circles, but inmates are under the sheriff’s care, as well as being in jail.

            No one should ever die in jail/prison, not in a Christian country where we value forgiveness for the guilty and under a Constitution that says innocent until proven guilty.

            I don’t know why I’m trying to explain to a disgraced politician why another disgraced politician is not worth defending.

            But I do finally understand that old Jerry Jeff Walker song about pissing in the wind.

            So thanks for that, ThuckHead.

          • John Huppenthal

            This episode is a microcosm of this blog. Journalists and researchers fabricating economics, crime and environmental data and you all retailing it.

            “Respected journalists” indeed.

            The New Times story about Arpaio’s jail death and suicide rates was completely and utterly false – the opposite of the truth, the opposite of the facts and the reporter knew it.

            Horizon has had guest after guest on talking with sometimes almost hysterical concern over Arpaio without once mentioning that murders are down 50% in Maricopa County, that car thefts are down 67%. And, that the overwhelming beneficiaries of this crime reduction are the poor and minorities.

            Purpose? To create a completely false narrative that Arpaio was driven by racist motivations, not his duty to protect the weak and the vulnerable.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Richard Post was a friend of mine years ago. When I moved to Arizona I looked him up.

            Here’s what I found.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maricopa_County_Sheriff%27s_Office_controversies#Richard_Post

            Screw Joe and screw you, creep.

          • “Screw Joe and screw you, creep.”

            It is always easy to tell when you are feeling cornered and are losing an argument…you start getting petty, nasty, cursing and hurling insults. I guess it must be the frustration of being consistently wrong on so many subjects.

          • John Huppenthal

            Yes, those people actually died. And now, because people don’t understand why they died, more people are now going to die.

            There is a science to suicide prevention. Great practitioners have gone into seriously mentally ill populations, populations with the highest suicide rates and reduced them to almost zero because they understand the science. These practitioners understand that humans are social animals and isolation kills them. They didn’t talk to these troubled people, they connected them. Got them out of their isolation and got them connected in society.

            Jail cells isolate and they isolate at the absolute worst point in a person’s life, when they have just taken a big hit to their personal status, it doesn’t get much lower than being in jail, its the cell that kills.

            That’s why the tents had a zero suicide rate. No one was isolated.

            My prediction? Penzone’s suicide rates and death rates are going to go up.

            Yes, we are a Christian nation. We should protect the weak and the vulnerable and be charitable towards our trespassers. Arpaio did that.

    • Guess we can add the 400+ sex crimes that were not investigated during his time as sheriff. That kind of statistic doesn’t seem to be included in your praise of his department.

      Accumulating voting power? What the hell does that even mean? Guess it was okay for sheriff pink undies to break the law as long as he kept locking up people you didn’t identify with.

  4. Given that the same Judge has been ramrodding this thing through since the beginning, I can’t imagine that Arpaio is going to be found “Not Guilty”. Whether or not Arpaio is guilty seems somewhat irrelevant because this Judge has a hard on for him. Arpaio and the Judge’s wife had some sort of run-in a while back and the Judge has not forgotten that. I am surprised this Judge has not recused himself for a conflict of interest, but I think it is a testimony to how much he wants to get Arpaio. He has repeatedly denied a jury trial to Arpaio, I think because he doesn’t want to take a chance on Arpaio not being convicted. The collective wisdom is that Arpaio will not go to jail, but with this Judge, I think he will send Arpaio to jail, if only for a little while.

  5. Frances Perkins

    Donald “1040 us, please!” Trump

  6. lets look at the positives of ex-sheriff joe and the 1040 gang. before they crawled out from under a rock we democrats for as long as I could remember (early 1960’s) tried every thing to get the latino community politically active and anti republican and failed. then ex-sheriff joe, russell pearce, janbo brewer and the the rest of the 1040 gang crawled out of the slime and bit the latino community hard. they accomplished what we democrats tried to do ;but failed all those many years. a politically active anti republican latino community. thanks for that ex-sheriff joe! and in future years will make republicans pay. as the kleons say revenge is a dish best eaten cold!

    • For Sure Not Tom

      I know you mean SB1070. A 1040 is what Trump won’t show us because of all the Russian money on it.

  7. For Sure Not Tom

    He’s still costing the taxpayers millions, and his defense seems to be delay until he’s dead.

    That’s creepy, right?

    I say we keep tent city open with just one bed, and save it for this corrupt, racist POS.