For a while, America’s Most Expensive Sheriff probably assumed he’d be able to stick the taxpayer with the hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s been ordered to pay up after admitting his department violated federal court orders by racially-profiling Latinos.
But U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow has a different plan in mind for Joe: Pay for your own screw-ups (or, if this was Arpaio’s jail, he’d have to start looking for pink underwear in his size).
From the Arizona Republic:
Snow also questioned whether that money would come from Arpaio’s budget or from taxpayers. And he expressed concern about whether all victims could be identified and on setting a limit on the amount of money needed to compensate all victims.
“We are working diligently to identify these people,” Arpaio defense attorney Michele Iafrate told Snow. “There are outliers we may never find.”
Wait, so Joe’s legal team isn’t even sure who and how many people the department targeted? What a mess.
Anyway, Arpaio could now personally be on the hook for as much as $350,000 for a compensation fund set up for victims of his illegal discriminatory habits, and another $100,000 he initially wanted to donate to an organization with a set mission of “protecting the constitutional and civil rights of the Hispanic community.”
Well, just look at that. Maybe actually paying attention to that mission statement a little earlier could have saved him a pretty penny.
Sheriff Joe now faces a tough (and not to mention pricey) choice: Pay an amount satisfactory to the judge, or face a criminal contempt hearing later next month. We’ll definitely be watching this.