Federal prosecutors are seeking to bring charges against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for defying orders he was given to stop immigration-enforcement operations taking place in his county.
The Associated Press reports:
PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department’s promise to file a criminal contempt-of-court charge against the longtime sheriff of metro Phoenix comes less than a month before the 84-year-old lawman will learn whether he gets a seventh term in office.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio will face the possibility of jail time and a clouded political future when prosecutors file a misdemeanor contempt charge against him for defying a judge’s orders to end his signature immigration patrols. The charge is expected to be filed Wednesday.
Arpaio, who didn’t attend a hearing Tuesday in his contempt case, could face up to six months in jail if convicted of misdemeanor contempt.
Arpaio accused the Obama administration of attempting to sway the election in his county and said he was expecting to be exonerated of the charges.
Arpaio said on Tuesday the charges were nothing more than a final attempt by President Barack Obama to oust the sheriff from office.
“It is no coincidence that this announcement comes 28 days before the election and the day before early voting starts,” Arpaio said in statement. “It is a blatant abuse of power and the people of Maricopa County should be as outraged as I am.”
“My point is this was strictly a political attack on this sheriff in this campaign,” Arpaio said in comments to The Arizona Republic. “I am not going to surrender. I am going to fight this all the way. And I expect to be re-elected.”
I tend to agree with Sheriff Arpaio. Nothing could be more blatant, especially in light of recent comments by Arpaio following GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s claim that Barack Hussein Obama is a US citizen without any proof to confirm that and is eligible for the office of president. As I reported, Arpaio continues to advance the claim, along with forensic evidence, that Obama’s multiple documents he has put out in public are fraudulent.
Arpaio acknowledge he violated the order, but has said it was not intentional. Sounds an awful like what FBI Director James Comey claimed about Hillary Clinton, only her actions actually broke the law.
Of course, the charges surprised even Arpaio’s attorneys. Mel McDonald, who is defending Arpaio said, “Usually a set status conference is a meeting between the court and council to discuss legal issues. We had no clue that they were going to come here today and make the announcements that they made.”
According to McDonald, Arpaio will not plead guilty to the charges.
Paul Charlton, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona said, “It’s unheard of” that a sheriff would be prosecuted in this manner.
“As rare as it is to have a federal