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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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    DarkBlue

    over 4 years ago

    4880 Comments

    Joe should run for Governor of Arizona and stick it to them in Washington.

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    MsSilky1

    over 4 years ago

    64 Comments

    We need more Sheriff Joe's. This guy is trying to do the right thing. Personally, I think more than a few corners need to get cut to get the job done. As Denny Crane points out: no one is squeaky clean. I think it's about time more people in power got on the same page. The page that reads: lets get illegal immigrants the hell out of the country and open up jobs for U.S. Citizens. That's what I think. This way the money stays here and helps our economy, the deadbeats that are draining our economy leave and hopefully take their offspring with them and items like insurance and healthcare become more manageable. Sheriff Joe seems to be the only one connecting the dots on this one!

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    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    I thought the messiah and his admin. were against Profiling.

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    Denny_Crane

    over 4 years ago

    648 Comments

    Sheriff Joe needs to go proactive on those seeking his demise. No one is squeeky clean! A lesson from J. Edgar Hoover!

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    clearforcode7

    over 4 years ago

    394 Comments

    Keep doing your thing Sheriff Joe.

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    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Why is it that when you finally get someone that does it right the government gets involved and screws it up? They need to leave the guy alone and let him run it the way he does. He is doing a very good job.

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    APEXPROUD

    over 4 years ago

    4400 Comments

    WHAT A CROCK !!!!

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    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Gods Spead Sheriff Joe, you the Man!!!

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    slow73

    over 4 years ago

    626 Comments

    Witch hunt! They hate it when somebody holds people responsible. I wish you luck Sheriff Joe.

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    bwh406

    over 4 years ago

    206 Comments

    And so it starts. This is just another example of this administration, instead of backing and helping the people who are trying to keep this country safe, going to greater lengths to try and prosecute them. This is being done because Sheriff Joe refuses to go by their rules like a good little boy and won't back off of doing his job. Keep up the good work Sheriff Joe, there are plenty of people in this country who support what you are doing!!!!

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    Perl

    over 4 years ago

    1498 Comments

    JOE, JOE, JOE, JOE!!!!!!!!
    ~Wf

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    Mrbdguard

    over 4 years ago

    4548 Comments

    You ever need a extra deputy let me know I would be proud to serve with you and work for you

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    SalinasNative

    over 4 years ago

    572 Comments

    I bet if the folks in DC had the immigration problem in their own backyard like Sheriff Joe does, they'd be able to appreciate his efforts!!! Until they have illegal immigrants causing crime, gangs and draining public resources while birthing new "citizens" in their city they won't be able to back Sheriff Joe because it's easier to point fingers than to investigate and see the problems for what they really are. Sorry but I've had it up to here with whiners!!!! Go, Joe, Go!!!! And if Arizona doesn't want ya, come to Salinas, CA and help out Sheriff Kanalakis!

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    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    keep up the good work Sherriff!

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    rsironron

    over 4 years ago

    5220 Comments

    Keep up the good work Sheriff Joe.

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