Sheriff Arpaio is being investigated for ‘criminal contempt’ of court over a case for his treatment of an 8yr-old illegal alien. Some claim this is a political move by Obama and his admin. If the sheriff is convicted of such crimes, he will be the first.
The investigation and possible prosecution of metropolitan Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio will be handled by the U.S. Justice Department after federal prosecutors in Arizona asked to be removed because of unspecified conflicts of interest, according to a court filing made public Friday.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona said in its brief filing in U.S. District Court in Phoenix that the case has been assigned to the Justice Department’s criminal division, public integrity section.
The filing cited “existing conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest pertaining to the matter” for Arizona’s federal prosecutors, but it did not provide details.
Mel McDonald, an attorney for Arpaio, said he was disappointed by the decision.
“It’s their call,” McDonald said. “If they have a conflict … I’m not one to second-guess that decision.”
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ruled last Friday that another judge should decide if Arpaio and others should be held in criminal contempt-of-court for ignoring court orders in a racial profiling case. Snow also said there was probable cause to believe Arpaio intentionally failed to turn over records that he had promised, under oath, to give to a court official.
The records were from a secret investigation that Arpaio’s foes say focused on Snow in an attempt to discredit him.
Arpaio, a Republican who is running for a seventh term this year, has vigorously insisted that he didn’t investigate Snow and instead said the probe was focused on widespread identity theft.