He calls himself the toughest sheriff in the country. Sheriff Joe Arpaio courts attention. He is the Sheriff of Maricopa County which includes Phoenix, Arizona. I remember way back when he required jail inmates to wear pink jump suits and live in tents in the outdoors. In 2011, he sent investigators to Hawaii to investigate Pres. Obama’s birth certificate and announced it was a forgery. He has survived two recall elections. His department has been sued several times – and lost regarding civil rights abuses by his deputies. See Salon news report. He has cost the county millions of dollars in lawsuits.
He was accused of instituting racial profiling of Hispanics. He was conducting sweeps of illegal immigrant. In 2013, a federal judge found that his department did indeed engage in racial profiling. Judge Murray Snow ordered wide changes in his department. Now, in 2015 the Sheriff admits he has violated those orders. The Sheriff even hired a private detective to investigate the judge’s wife. It was alleged that the judge’s wife said her husband hated Sheriff Arpaio and wanted him out of office. The Sheriff’s office admitted they hired the PI to: 1) investigate the wife’s alleged statement, and 2) investigate whether the CIA had hacked into banks in Maricopa County, but more likely looking into whether the judge and Dept. of Justice were colluding against the Sheriff.
Now, Sheriff Arpaio has asked that the judge recuse himself from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s case. We see these crazy plot lines in movies about lawyers and law firms. But, once in a blue moon, those crazy things actually happen. See NPR report.