Looks Like Arpaio Will Need That Lawyer: Sheriff May Face Civil and Criminal Contempt Charges

Arpaio_at_Tea_Party_Patriots.jpg
Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Updated 6 p.m.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio may face civil and even criminal contempt charges stemming from his office's failure to comply with a court order issued in the Melendres civil rights case. In that case, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office was found to have illegally racially profiled Latinos in its attempts to enforce immigration law.

The case, which was scheduled for an evidentiary hearing today, was temporarily put on hold as Judge G. Murray Snow considers possible contempt violations on the part of Arpaio and the MCSO.

In front of the crowded courtroom, Snow addressed the sheriff and the issues at hand immediately. "I do acknowledge here the presence of the Sheriff," he said. "I appreciate him being here. I have some deep concerns and I'm glad he's here to hear them. I believe there have been some serious violations that require this court to take action."

More »

Arpaio's Request for Court-Appointed Lawyer Not What It Seems, Sheriff's Official Says

saul-lawyer-1.jpg
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's request for a court-appointed defense lawyer merely seeks to clarify if a federal judge thinks he really needs one.

That's according to Jack MacIntyre, a deputy chief and spokesman for Arpaio.

As we reported previously, Arpaio's lawyers submitted a court motion to Arizona U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow on Monday, saying Arpaio and other MCSO employees are "entitled to criminal defense counsel."

More »

Arpaio Asks Federal Judge to Find Him a Criminal Defense Lawyer

arpaio-protester-mask.jpg
Ray Stern
Sheriff Arpaio wants the court to appoint him a lawyer -- does his future wardrobe include jail stripes?
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants a federal judge to appoint him a criminal defense lawyer in case he's charged with contempt.

Citing a threat of contempt charges at a November 20 court hearing, two of Arpaio's lawyers write in a motion filed today that neither they, nor County Attorney Bill Montgomery, have the power to defend Arpaio against criminal charges.

More »

Deputy Sean Pearce Still Being Probed by Glendale Prosecutors Over Fatal Crash

pearce-crash-1.JPG
The Glendale City Prosecutor's Office continues to probe the actions of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Sean Pearce months after County Attorney Bill Montgomery declined to prosecute.
Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Pearce is still under investigation by city prosecutors in connection with his speed-related crash that killed a man in December, New Times has learned.

The job of the City Prosecutor's Office is to prosecute people for misdemeanor crimes, meaning that Pearce, the son of disgraced GOP politician Russell Pearce, apparently still faces some criminal charges despite an announcement in June by County Attorney Bill Montgomery that Pearce was off the hook.

More »

Sidebar: In Book, Ex-Arpaio Aide Sticks to Weak Story on Campaign-Conspiracy Allegations

parade-of-fools-puppets-1.jpg
New Times photo illustration
Roughly simultaneous to his feud with the county, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had been fighting one of the biggest scandals of his time in office - the so-called SCA campaign-finance debacle.

The scandal involved a secret organization, sometimes known as the Sheriff's Command Association, and corresponding slush fund. Retired Executive Chief Brian Sands, whose new book about his 30 years in the Sheriff's Office is detailed in this week's New Times, donated to the fund with automatic payroll deductions. So did former Chief Deputy David Hendershott, Deputy Chiefs Scott Freeman, Frank Munnell and Jesse Locksa, and another man in Arpaio's inner circle, Larry Black a former deputy chief rehired as a civilian.

Steve Ellman, a local developer who was friends with Sands and Black, and several other millionaires dumped $105,000 into the fund.

In clandestine meetings with a Republican Party consultant, Black and Fox -- with Hendershott on at least one occasion -- handed over two checks totaling $105,000 as donations to the state GOP.

More »

Parade of Fools: Brian Sands Can't Distance Himself From the Bad Acts Detailed in His Book

parade-of-fools-cover.jpg
Image: Mike Ray/Shannon Associates

Four years ago, when actor Steven Seagal found himself in need of a publicity-hungry, big-city law enforcement agency to help him shoot a reality TV series, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio rolled out the welcome mat.

The controversial six-term sheriff hooked up the wannabe cop with Executive Chief Brian Sands, a 30-year Sheriff's Office employee and one of Arpaio's closest and most loyal commanders.

But Sands relates in his controversial book self-published in August that getting assigned to babysit the has-been movie star was another humiliation in a career marred by similar Arpaio-flavored antics.

Sidebar: In Book, Ex-Arpaio Aide Sticks to Weak Story on Campaign-Conspiracy Allegations

More »

Jerry Sheridan, MCSO Chief Deputy, Considers Legal Options After Slurs by Ex-Deputy Chief

mcso-book1.jpg
Jerry Sheridan, chief deputy for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, is said to be contemplating his legal options following the release of an ex-deputy chief's gossip-filled book.

Sheridan didn't call New Times back after we called him for comment before printing Friday's article about the newly released book by former veteran deputy Brian Sands, but Sheriff Joe Arpaio's spokeswoman, Lisa Allen, did.

Sheridan "has contacted an attorney," Allen tells us. "He is looking to find out if there's a case here about his reputation [being] defamed."

Of particular concern to Sheridan are statements by Sands that allege apparent bigotry.

More »

Joe Arpaio's Top Man, Jerry Sheridan, Described as a Bigot in Ex-Deputy's Book

sands-book-crop.jpg
Brian Sands, a former top-ranking deputy under Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, describes Arpaio's current chief deputy as a bigot in a new, dirt-dishing book.

Our colleague Stephen Lemons first brought you news of Sands' book on Saturday. We ordered a copy for ourselves, and the typo-ridden, apparently self-published, 177-page book arrived in the mail yesterday. We'll be covering what it says over the next week or two. Today, we take a look at Chapter 1, in which Sands begins a Sheridan-bash that continues until the last chapter.

Sands also blasts his former boss in the first chapter as someone who's more interested in self-aggrandizement than his own deputies. Sheridan, a white man, is criticized heavily for his views on other ethnic persuasions. And Frank Munnell, the commander who exposed shady dealings of some of Arpaio's top brass in 2010, is also described as being extremely insensitive to minorities.

More »

Maricopa County Paying $10K to Burglar Who Alleged Jail Guards Stood by During Beating

county-jail-interior-mcso-site-1.JPG
Image: MCSO
Another day, another payout by taxpayers for a screw-up in the Maricopa County Jail.

The county has paid millions to victims of jail staff over the years, but the problem seems never-ending.

In this case, a career burglar who ordinarily wouldn't deserve a dime from taxpayers is receiving a $10,000 settlement after he accused jail detention officers of failing to help while he was being beat up by another inmate.

More »

The Company You Keep: Sheriff Joe Is One Step Removed From Vladimir Putin

Arpaio_Seagal.jpg
Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Arpaio and Seagal in 2012.

They say you're only as good as the company you keep.

Action star Steven Seagal likes to keep company with some of the world's so-called tough guys. His television show Steven Seagal: Lawman sprang from his friendships with two nationally famous sheriffs: Louisiana's Harry Lee and our own blowhard, Sheriff Joe. But the star seems to be taking his bromances to a new, international level.

Seagal's latest buddy is none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin. The actor was quoted on a Russian television station in June as saying, "I'm Russian, I love Russia, I love Russian people, and I love your president." The two reportedly share a love of martial arts. But it seems Seagal's support (surprise, surprise!) also extends to Putin's politics.

More »

Now Trending

Loading...