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In the latest development in the Sheriff Joe Arpaio saga, the Department of Justice is convening a grand jury to look into various allegations that “America’s Toughest Sheriff” has been abusing his power.
According to Zachary Roth at Talking Points Memo:
The probe appears focused on two related but different areas. It began as an inquiry into whether Arpaio’s office had violated civil-rights laws as part of its aggressive tactics to round up illegal immigrants. But it appears also now to be looking into whether Arpaio used his office to target and intimidate political opponents, as several have claimed.
Both Maricopa County Manager, David Smith, and Deputy County Manager, Sandi Wilson, are scheduled to appear before the Jury next week. Both have clashed with the Sheriff in the past. KPHO News quotes Smith:
The Sheriff’s Office starts an investigation and goes looking for a crime…Most agencies see a crime then start an investigation.
He goes on to say that the Sheriff is “out of control.”
The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives has held hearings; the Department of Homeland Security has given Arpaio a slap on the wrist; the Department of Justice is investigating Arpaio for civil rights violations; and the FBI is doing the same in Phoenix.
With lawyers protesting the Sheriff’s recent dealings and local advocates planning a massive demonstration in Phoenix next week, here’s hoping this could be the beginning of the end of what many Arizona groups are calling Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “reign of terror” in Maricopa County.