Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The Most Racist Cop Now An FBI Target?

Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 | Posted by Chico Brisbane | Labels: , , , ,

The single most racist law enforcement official in the country has finally come under the microscope of the FBI. The fact that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has maintained the top cop spot in Maricopa County Arizona speaks volumes about the counties registered voters. Arpaio suffers from the same personality disorder as that of former Vice President Dick Cheney. The rule of law simply does not apply as long as the ends justify the means.

Arpaio is already being sued by the federal government for alleged racial profiling and related civil rights violations. Now, he’s being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which claims he and his deputies abused their authority to enforce federal immigration laws when they illegally arrested and detained a U.S. citizen and legal resident who were just driving down the road in their pickup truck.

The ACLU is representing Julian Mora, a legal permanent resident who has lived in the United States for 30 years, and his U.S. citizen son, Julio. The two claim they were the subjects of racial profiling — stopped while driving their truck for no reason other than being Latino.

The 66-year-old Julian Mora, who is diabetic, said he and his son were driving to work when a Maricopa County officers cut him off, then ordered the two men out of the truck, frisked and handcuffed them. The officers then transported the Moras to the worksite of Handyman Maintenance, Inc., where the officers were conducting a raid. The ACLU suit alleges the men were held there and denied food, water, or contact with the outside world for the next three hours. Neither was allowed to use the bathroom, although the older Mora has difficulty controlling his bladder due to his diabetes. He said he was finally allowed to urinate in a public parking lot.

The two men were eventually released later that day. They say they still don’t know why they were stopped, nor where they given a reason for being transported to the scene of a police raid that had nothing whatsoever to do with either men. Arpaio is also inflicted with a Sarah Palin type fondness for making claims and statement that have no basis in fact or even reside within the realm of possibility. As an example, Arpaio spent over $10,000 in tax payer money to have Arizona State University study recidivism in his jail system. ASU found that there was no change in the rate at which inmates returned to the jail. Just like the former Alaska Governor, Arpaio immediately discounted the University Study that he requested when it did not coincide with his dillusional perception on the matter.

Another claim is that Sheriff Joe has saved county tax payers millions of dollars because of his innovative programs. Then why can't he control his budget? Why was he $7 million dollars in the hole in 1999/2000/2001 and where did the money go? Why was Loretta Barkell put into the Finance Director with a title of Deputy Chief? Because the BOS put her there and told Chief Hendershott that if he got a handle on the budget he would get his raise.

Now Arpiao is fighting off rumors that he and the MCSO is under the microscope of the FBI. However, while the FBI will neither confirm nor deny any official investigation, multiple sources have reportedly been questioned about Sheriff Arpaio by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Business Journal.

Arpaio is perhaps the most controversial sheriff in America. He is famous for rounding up local residents on suspicion of being in the country illegally and for his jails, where inmates live in outdoor tents and wear pink underwear, pink flip-flops, and pink handcuffs.

In addition to being under investigation for the last few months by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for possible civil rights violations, including racial profiling, Arpaio's office has also come under investigation by the Department of Labor (DOL) for allegedly withholding overtime pay from employees who worked more than 40 hours per week.

All of the current alleged infractions are civil offenses, not criminal, and a
letter from the DOJ to Arpaio in the spring says that the DOJ will help provide assistance to Arpaio to correct any infractions they find.

Because the DOJ inquiry is not a criminal investigation, some local Arpaio critics have complained that the DOJ does not have certain jurisdictional powers (e.g., subpoena, grand jury indictments). Many local opponents of Arpaio's immigration enforcement efforts accuse Arpaio of abusing the power of his office and want Arpaio to be investigated for alleged criminal wrongdoings.

Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) told us a couple of months ago, "Above all, we are concerned for the safety of migrants, Latinos, and those who speak out in Arizona. Arpaio has shown a propensity to retaliate against his opponents."

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon expressed similar concerns Monday to the
Arizona Republic: "Anyone who raises an issue is subject to phone calls
from senior officials in his department, advising them that that's not a wise thing to do. If they continue comments that the sheriff doesn't agree with, people find themselves under criminal investigation or buried with Freedom of Information Act requests that would cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars."

Complaints of civil rights violations -- national origin discrimination and illegal searches and seizures -- from local citizens and officials,
members of Congress, and others have been mounting over the last couple of years as "Sheriff Joe" ramped up immigration enforcement under the controversial 287(g) program, which allows certain local and state law enforcement agencies to engage in immigration enforcement.

Arpaio spokesperson Brian Lee says neither the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) nor Sheriff Arpaio have been questioned by the FBI, and neither has been made aware of any investigation by the FBI.


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