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Sheriff Joe Under Grand Jury Investigation

Sheriff Joe Under Grand Jury Investigation

The Los Angeles Times via YellowBrix

January 08, 2010

PHOENIX — Two top county officials said Thursday night they have been subpoenaed to answer questions next week before a federal grand jury about a high-profile Arizona sheriff and his office.

In statements read by a county spokesman, Maricopa County Manager David Smith and Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson said they met with a federal prosecutor to discuss the case and will testify Wednesday.

Wilson said the general subject of the inquiry was abuses by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office. Neither Wilson nor Smith offered specifics, said county spokesman Richard de Uriarte, who spoke with the two officials Thursday night.

Sheriff’s spokesman Brian Lee said Arpaio was declining to comment on reports of the investigation. “He has stated that we will conduct business as usual,” Lee said.

Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S attorney’s office in Phoenix, said she couldn’t confirm or deny a grand jury investigation.

Arpaio and an ally are embroiled in nasty legal disputes with county officials and judges. Two county supervisors and one county judge have been criminally charged in investigations by Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Last month, Arpaio and Thomas filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against a group of county administrators, judges and attorneys, accusing them of participating in a conspiracy to hinder an investigation into a $341 million court building under construction in Phoenix and the investigation of Supervisor Don Stapley.

Arpaio is widely known for tough jail policies and pushing the bounds on local immigration efforts. He has led a dozen crime and immigration sweeps, some in heavily Latino areas.

Critics allege that some of Arpaio’s deputies racially profiled people during immigration sweeps. But Arpaio maintains that people pulled over in the sweeps were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes.

He was told in March that his office is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures. Arpaio had said he believed the investigation was spurred by his immigration efforts.

Last year, Arpaio was stripped of some of his special authority to make federal immigration arrests, though he retains some federal power that allows his jail officers to speed up deportations.

A half-day after his powers were limited, he launched a crime and immigration sweep and has since continued his enforcement of state laws banning immigrant smuggling and prohibiting businesses from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

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  • Scan0004_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I hope he get's what's coming to him. He is a slug. Not sheriff. You who get fooled by hom do not know him like I do. And that's putting Immigration reform to the side. He is a failure at his job. And he hurts officers.

  • Dcp_0435_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This guy is doing what mainstream America wants. President Obama should put him in charge of immigration reform!

  • Car6_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I think what Sheriff Joe does is great, wish I could see more of it. Good luck Sheriff Joe!

  • Advance_seal_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I live in AZ. I see Sheriff Joe's work all the time. He's not making things, better. I hope he gets fired.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    It sounds like typical spineless politicians plotting their revenge for anyone who dare speak out against them. I think they are underestimating Sheriff Joe.

  • Parade05_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I am sick of hearing people whine about profiling or not profiling. We should be profiling. That's the only way to stop the people who break the law. If a bank is robbed and it is reported that the robber was a bald man in a suit driving a blue late model car, should we NOT specifically look for bald men in suits driving late model blue cars? What idiots. Unfortunately the politicians don't want the illegal hispanics arrested, detained or deported because they can allwo them to vote to keep them in office. If Sheriff Joe is railroaded into not being able to enforce ALL the laws of this country I believe the citizens of this country will eventually rebell against the idiotic political BS in Washington and cause a division not seen since the Civil War. As Abraham Lincoln said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves". It's happening America, so if you want America to survive speak out loud and clear.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    He worries the white house and it's staff. They are all criminals and Sheriff Joe goes after criminals. Can't have that now can we?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    The political elite are running scared because Sheriff Joe is doing his JOB.

  • L_6aed1913cdc84f56b8a1de7b6fe9c455_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Sheriff Joe is awesome! We need more like him!

  • Me_and_caleb_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Sheriff Joe is an American hero. Leave him the hell alone!

  • Img-20110512-00019_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Id like to see him run for President

  • Image001_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I would like to see him run for governer of Arizona.

  • Meangreen01_max50


    over 4 years ago


    If they ain't complaining, I ain't workin' ...

  • Colors_max50


    over 4 years ago


    First of all Sheriff Joe has been doing his crime sweeps for a long time, he dosen't just arrest illegals he makes arrest for a wide range of reasons, only a small part of these are illegal aliens. Keep up the sweeps Joe. I have no doubt that Joe will win this battle also like he has won all of the previous battles.

  • The_pic_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Isnt't there some way for the LE Community nationwide to speak up about this and expose this subversion? The United States Of America IS BEING fundamentally transformed by just such abuses of law. Perhaps there could be an LE equivalent of the Tea Parties and in that way you can speak up to the LA (Law Abusement) Community and Americans in general.

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