Joe Arpaio Kneels Before Federal Power, Complies with Judge's Enforcement Order

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We now know it takes close to a month for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to send out a mass e-mail, and even then, only under the threat of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's being found in contempt of court by a federal judge.

How close Arpaio got to having the cuffs slapped on him, we may never know. But in federal court in Phoenix on Wednesday, Judge G. Murray Snow declared at the end of an hour-long hearing that the MCSO "is in substantial compliance" with a recent enforcement order in the ACLU's big civil rights case Melendres v. Arpaio.

No, we're not talking about Snow's final injunction of October 2013. That document laid out the specifics of what the MCSO must do to get right with the U.S. Constitution, which Joe's been treating as a doormat, lo these many years.

Gage Skidmore
Faced with the judge's belt, Arpaio caved, after nearly a month of stalling...

The MCSO's compliance with that order is a long ways off.

Still, after much heel-dragging by Arpaio and his underlings, Snow finally was able to force the MCSO to disseminate to nearly all of its employees a "corrective statement," addressing bogus propaganda about Melendres, spewed by Arpaio, his Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan, Deputy Chief David Trombi, and, most recently Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre.

Read the MCSO's statement of compliance.

During the hearing, MCSO Captain Larry Farnsworth testified that out of 3,297 compensated employees (excluding those on leave for some reason), 97.5 percent had done their required reading and had signed an attestation to that effect.

Command staff, sergeant and above, also read Snow's May 2013 decision in Melendres, finding the MCSO guilty of racial profiling, and Snow's October injunction.

Chief Deputy Sheridan attended Wednesday's hearing, though Arpaio did not. Afterward, Sheridan stated that even Arpaio had done all of his homework and signed that he had done so.

"His signature is right beside mine," Sheridan informed the reportorial scrum outside the courthouse.

If this sounds akin to obedience, remember that Arpaio's lawyer Tim Casey first submitted a draft corrective statement to the court on April 10, declaring that Arpaio would sign off on it.

That's when the usual MCSO shenanigans began.

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