Joe Arpaio Appeals Judge Snow's Permanent Injunction in Melendres, No Formal Approval by Supervisors
I'm guessing that members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors are familiar with the phrase, "no taxation without representation," but maybe they need a refresher course in what that Revolutionary War slogan means.
On Halloween, appropriately, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's lawyer Tim Casey filed a notice of appeal, challenging federal Judge G. Murray Snow's permanent injunction in the ACLU's big civil rights case Melendres v. Arpaio.
That final order from Snow included a laundry list of reforms and retraining mandates for the MCSO to implement over the next several years.
Additionally, Snow indicated that he would appoint an independent monitor by year's end to ensure that the MCSO abides by the permanent injunction.
The MCSO had signaled that it would appeal the injunction, but the question is, when did the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors discuss this appeal and approve it?
After all, the money to pay Casey's $1 million in attorney's fees, as well as to foot the bill for the estimated $7.3 million in legal fees being sought by the plaintiffs, has come and will continue to come from county taxpayers, specifically from a fund for outside counsel, which is part of the county's general fund.
County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick told me she didn't know how the appeal had been approved.
"The Board never took any formal action on the appeal," Gerchick wrote me via email. "I don't know how the decision was made."
County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox has been shut out of discussions and votes on a Melendres appeal by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a move she unsuccessfully challenged in superior court.
"They banned me from Melendres," Wilcox told me. "But I know there was an e-session [on Melendres]. Even with an e-session, you have to follow up with a public vote and we've had no public vote."
(An e-session, or executive session, takes place behind closed doors. Votes are not supposed to take place in e-session.)
"I would have seen it [if a public vote had been scheduled]," said Wilcox. "We would have seen people here protesting. So I don't think it's a legal way to approve it. The board has to approve an appeal. We still have to vote on it."
Wilcox stated that she believed Montgomery (the BOS's lawyer, natch) has been playing "fast and loose" with the rules when it comes to such approvals. She said she asked for a legal opinion on the issue from Montgomery about six months ago, but has so far received no response.