Criminal contempt of court proceedings against Sheriff Joe Arpaio kick off today in Phoenix. This is the result of a referral from federal judge G. Murray Snow based on his findings of criminal misconduct on the part of Sheriff Arpaio and three of his staff. Arpaio is accused of lying in court, withholding evidence and deliberately attempting to thwart the court’s orders to stop racial profiling in the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Arpaio has not yet been formally charged in this unusual criminal contempt referral of a public official. The Department of Justice is handling the investigation. Susan Bolton, senior judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona (pictured right) will preside over the hearing today. Judge Bolton was appointed by Bill Clinton in 2000.
There is little doubt that this case will continue long after this blog shuts down next January.
Sheriff Joe officially charged with misdemeanor contempt of court. Trial set for December 6. Faces up to 6 months in jail.
- Criminal-contempt proceedings for Sheriff Joe Arpaio start Tuesday – Arizona Republic