Looks like Sheriff Joe messed with the wrong one, again.
Following a court order from U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow on Friday, a team of six U.S. Marshals raided the downtown Phoenix office of embattled Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
According to reports, U.S. Marshals seized hundreds of items from Arpaio’s office, including hard drives and IDs, after a court monitor informed Judge Snow that Arpaio and his staff were directly ignoring the court’s order to turn over evidence in the federal contempt case against Arpaio:
Judge G. Murray Snow ordered the raid, after it became apparent that the Sheriff’s Department was not cooperating with a February order, that had asked Arpaio to turn over identification cards, hard drives and other documents.
A court-appointed monitor alleged that Arpaio’s Department had withheld hundreds of documents and dozens of hard drives in clear violation of the judge’s orders, prompting the judge’s decision to order the raid.
The irony of America’s most infamous Sheriff failing to follow a judge’s order and the rule of law was not lost on the Arizona reporters who have been keeping track of Arpaio’s antics — most notably, repeated instances of racial profiling against Latino drivers — for years now.
“For 20 years Sheriff Joe Arpaio has sent out squads of deputies and volunteer posse members on Mother’s Day and/or Father’s Day to round up parents for ignoring court orders to pay child support,” noted reporter EJ Montini.
“U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow apparently likes Arpaio’s idea of publicly humiliating deadbeats so much that last week he decided to use the tactic himself – against Arpaio.”
According to Montini, Arpaio’s office was set to destroy 1,500 IDs — seized by his deputies during traffic stops — in direct violation of the court’s order.
“Likewise the Marshals had to go looking for 50 hard drives supposedly tied to a confidential informant who was hired by Arpaio to gather information on Snow.”
During one of his yearly deadbeat parent raids, which can feature images of parents being led away in handcuffs, Arpaio said, “If you think I’m embarrassing these guys, OK. Let them come in and surrender and pay support…We don’t tolerate the deadbeats.”
Neither does Judge Snow, it seems.
As Montini notes, Arpaio decided to make war with the wrong judge, after Arpaio admitted under oath that he’d hired a private investigator to spy on Snow and his family. Now, after Arpaio and his chief deputy have already admitted to civil contempt, both are now at the mercy of Snow and face possible criminal contempt charges:
Arpaio and his Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan already have admitted to civil contempt. Snow is in the process of deciding if their case should be referred for criminal proceedings.
Attorney Dan Pochoda of Arizona American Civil Liberties Union, one of the plaintiffs in the original case against Arpaio’s office, said that court orders were “in a wholesale manner ignored” by Arpaio.
The sheriff doesn’t take kindly to moms and dads who ignore court orders.
Likewise, the judge doesn’t take kindly to a sheriff who ignores court orders, and is giving Arpaio a taste of his own medicine.
Minus the handcuffs. For now