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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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  • Littlegirltongue_max50

    curedgirls

    over 4 years ago

    3624 Comments

    If more of our leaders had the "boys" that he has we'd be the America we used to be

  • Chris_and_i_in_uniform_max50

    JP503

    over 4 years ago

    7620 Comments

    He is the only sheriff that treats inmates as inmates not hotel guest. leave him alone.

  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    over 4 years ago

    23122 Comments

    Joe is da man. He may end up out fitting the grand jury in his trade mark pink underware.

  • Wtc_badge_max600_max160_max50

    servingproud

    over 4 years ago

    4670 Comments

    You go Joe......... We need more like Joe. Maybe Joe in 2012...... Clean up the rest of the States.

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50

    s3sk

    over 4 years ago

    3308 Comments

    I want to know how it pans out too, but go joe.

  • Eagle_and_flag_max50

    36TR

    over 4 years ago

    7568 Comments

    Sheriff Arpaio is my hero!! He runs his jail the way a jail should be run!!! We're behind you, Sheriff!!!

  • Me_max50

    shellshocked

    over 4 years ago

    68 Comments

    You know what, I feel ashamed of the justice system here in america, i'm a former Marine, and I am currently re enlisting. But the fact that they are trying to punish an american who is doing what the law says, stating he is too harsh... Bullshi* He is what america really is

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    blkdragon1212

    over 4 years ago

    248 Comments

    It is a damned shame that more law enforcement officials don't show the same respect for the enforcement of the law, and less of political correctness. If the bow hunting was just a little better in AZ, I think I would consider joining his department when I retire.

  • Cot_max50

    hbg522

    over 4 years ago

    7006 Comments

    business as usual. keep up the great work Sheriff!

  • Big_4182036_max50

    salsa3208

    over 4 years ago

    108 Comments

    What a sheriff. We can all learn a lot from him. The judicial officials have to be weeded out, just like the streets. You notice the press release doesnt mention much about the allegations on the judges, but mainly on the sheriff allegedly being investigated. Hummmmmmmmmmmm

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    charger155

    over 4 years ago

    16 Comments

    Way to go Joe, keep up the good work in AZ.

  • Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50

    mmmm

    over 4 years ago

    544 Comments

    I recently heard that Arpaio is a convicted felon. Does anyone know if this is true??

  • Tazer_max600_max50

    marqmd

    over 4 years ago

    548 Comments

    Sheriff Joe is a hero and one of the few elected officials who has the backbone to enforce immigration laws.

  • Me_max50

    akaray

    over 4 years ago

    258 Comments

    It will be very interesting to see how this pans out.

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