Attorney General Eric Holder is threatening to sue Arizona’s Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio if requested documents are not turned over to the DOJ by August 17th.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Arpaio’s attorney says the DOJ has picked the target, with no valid reason for doing so. In other words, they want to shutdown Arpaio’s aggressive and effective protection of the people in his county, and so are now looking for a violation, rather than finding a violation and then going after it.
Robert Driscoll, a Washington lawyer representing Arpaio, said Justice Department lawyers “have picked the man and the department and are trying to find a violation, rather than find a violation and then seeking to vindicate someone’s rights.”
“They have been investigating for two years,” said Driscoll, who added that most people assume it has something to do with racial profiling.
But Driscoll said, “If it was going on now, presumably they would have evidence of this now.”
In a letter, assistant attorney general Thomas Perez, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said the sheriff’s office is not turning over material that Perez’s lawyers are requesting. Over a year ago, Arpaio’s lawyers asked that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigate alleged attorney misconduct regarding the investigation. In his letter to Arpaio’s lawyers, Perez said such “unfounded allegations” are not a basis for refusing to cooperate with the Justice Department probe.
If you are not familiar with “The” Sheriff, watch this video of Arpaio talking about the modification of Arizona’s SB1070, and how his department investigates lawbreakers, no matter their ethnicities. He also talks about the DOJ’s 1-1/2 year investigation into his department. A pertinent part of this video comes at about 4:20 min-in.