Last December, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the results of its investigation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which concluded that he has “engage[d] in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing” and “a chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations.” DOJ has been trying to end Arpaio’s reign of terror. Since December, the two parties had been engaged in negotiations, but not anymore. Negotiations have broken down:
The standoff between the federal government and a high-profile Arizona sheriff accused of discriminating against Hispanics escalated Tuesday when settlement negotiations fell through and the Justice Department threatened to sue the sheriff.
Justice officials have accused Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s department of illegally detaining Hispanic residents and denying them critical services in jail. A day before settlement negotiations were to begin, Arpaio refused to agree to a court-appointed monitor to oversee changes in his department, one of the Justice Department’s requirements.
“We believe that you are wasting time and not negotiating in good faith,” wrote Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy L. Austin Jr. in a letter to Arpaio’s attorney. “Your tactics have required DOJ to squander valuable time and resources.”
Not that any of us are surprised that Arpaio was not negotiating in good faith or squandering government resources. That’s who Arpaio is and what Arpaio does – in addition to discriminating and racial profiling.
More from Ray Stern at the Phoenix New Times, which is a publication that really knows Arpaio, his tricks, and his tactics:
The sheriff claims in a new release this afternoon that he will not “surrender my office to the federal government.”
Arpaio claims that a federally appointed monitor would have to approve “every policy decision, every operation…” of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which would nullify his power.
We’re not sure that’s accurate. But if it is, imagine the potential humiliation involved if the monitor failed to approve all of Arpaio’s document-shredding sessions, illegal-immigrant roundups, jail-tax-fund raids, campaign tricks and bogus search warrants. No wonder he’s ticked.
What do you think — will the feds cave to Arpaio’s demands, or will they sue to install the monitor over the sheriff’s protests?