FEDERAL PROSECUTORS CALL OFF CRIMINAL PROBE OF SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO
Feds call off criminal probe of Sheriff Joe
Sat Sep 1, 2012 1:51PM GMT
Federal prosecutors will not be charging infamously tough Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio with abuse of power, reports the AP.
Arpaio and his allies had been feuding for three years with other officials in Maricopa County, with the sheriff bringing public corruption cases against officials who disagreed with him.
Those cases never succeeded, and in return the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors had asked for an investigation of Arpaio’s office in November 2010.
“I said all along I would be cleared in this case,” said Arpaio, reports Reuters. “My people are not crooks. They are trying to do their job.”
However, the U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against Arpaio for alleged civil rights violations will continue, as will a class action lawsuit by five people of Hispanic heritage alleging Arpaio engaged in racial profiling. newser.com
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel released a statement saying her office “is closing its investigation into allegations of criminal conduct” by current and former members of the sheriff’s and county attorney’s offices. AP
Arpaio was scheduled to hold a news conference later after returning from Tampa, Fla., where he attended the Republican National Convention this week. His Twitter account posted a message celebrating the victory. It said he “got great news getting off plane, Fed’s 3 year (sic) case against my office closed. No abuse of power.” talkingpointsmemo.com
The officials who were targets of the investigations contend the probes were trumped up as retaliation for political and legal disagreements with the sheriff and prosecutor. wsj.com
The federal probe focused specifically on the sheriff’s anti-public-corruption squad. In a separate probe, the U.S. Justice Department has accused Arpaio’s office of a wide range of civil rights violations, and in another case, a federal judge has yet to rule in a civil case brought by a group of Latino plaintiffs that claimed Arpaio and his deputies engaged in racial profiling. policeone.com