Friday, August 31, 2012


PHOENIX - The U.S. Attorney's Office has closed the investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and members of his office.

The ruling also includes the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

In a document released Friday afternoon, U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel advised Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery of its decision not to pursue state criminal charges related to the investigation. 

Read more:

The U.S. Attorney's Office has closed its long-running abuse-of-power investigation into Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- without any charges to be filed.
document The press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office Friday

In a 5 p.m. Friday news release, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel, acting on behalf of the United States Department of Justice, announced her office "is closing its investigation into allegations of criminal conduct" by current and former members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
Federal prosecutors have advised Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery of the decision.

"I'm just pissed," said Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek. "If (former Deputy County Attorney) Lisa Aubuchon and (former Sheriff's Chief Deputy) David Hendershott are not prosecuted for perjury, then this is all about politics. This is about a Justice Department that is afraid to do their jobs."

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, one of those who has sued Arpaio alleging she was improperly investigated, said she was shocked when contacted by The Republic.

"I can't imagine why they would do that when there's so much evidence there, particularly from the Thomas case and all the testimony that came out. I just am floored," Wilcox said.
Sheriff's Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre commended federal prosecutors for their handling of the investigation that began in 2008.

MacIntyre also said the U.S. Attorney's Office recognized that many of the allegations related to the anti-corruption enforcement unit Arpaio started with former County Attorney Andrew Thomas were handled in the State Bar proceeding that resulted in Thomas being stripped of his license.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office and its investigators recognized what Sheriff's Office has said all along: we did not make any prosecutorial decisions, even through things were referred to the then-county attorney," MacIntyre said. "The sheriff and the Sheriff's Office commend the U.S. Attorney's office for having the honesty, the integrity and the strength of character to make the statement that they do today: clearing this office and dispelling the shadow that's been lingering over it for over three years."

Thomas, a onetime Arpaio ally, was disbarred earlier this year. During the disbarment proceedings, testimony was given that Arpaio or his subordinates had abused the power the office.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told Arizona delegates at a luncheon Thursday that he’s confident Mitt Romney would work with Arizona to increase border enforcementsomething he said President Barack Obama has failed to do.
Joe Arpaio 394x296 Sheriff Joe Arpaio sees an ally in Mitt Romney
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is seen in his office Thursday, April 17, 2008, in Phoenix. While the Maricopa County sheriff has legal authority to enforce the law in cities within his county, politicians and activists are accusing him of grandstanding and, worse, racial profiling. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
“Something has to be done, and I’m very well convinced that Mitt Romney, when he gets to the White House, will look at the problem,” he said. “I fully believe that he’s not just talking. I’m convinced that in the first year at the White House, he will bring this issue up.”
Gov. Jan Brewer was also present but did not speak at the luncheon that took place at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. At least five protesters attempted to make their way into the event, which was in connection to the Republican National Convention, but were asked to leave.
The Sheriff , Brewer and other Republicans from Arizona have long criticized Obama, saying the president has failed to secure the United States-Mexico border. Their criticism comes even after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has repeatedly said that the border has never been more secure.
Though Arpaio endorsed Rick Perry for president over Romney, the Sheriff said he still supports Romney’s stance on immigration, saying it is in line with his. They both favor ramping up enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border, implementing an employment verification system and they are both against in-state tuition for undocumented youth.
Earlier this week, the Sheriff was criticized by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who said it was “an embarrassment” that more than 400 sex crimes were not investigated by Arpaio’s office. News about the sex crimes was revealed in December 2010.
Arpaio responded to McCain’s comment Thursday saying, “He doesn’t have the whole story, so I’m not going to go with anything he says.”
The Sheriff has also taken a lot of heat for several lawsuits, including one that accuses him and his office of racially profiling Latinos during traffic stops. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice filed a similar lawsuit and included other claims, such as discrimination against Latinos in the jail system.
When asked whether his enforcement will hurt Romney among Latino voters, the Sheriff said, “You can’t make everybody happy.”
“You have to do what feels right and conform with the laws,” he said. “Sometimes people don’t like what you’re doing but you can’t make everybody happy.”
Lou Ann Preble, an alternate delegate from Arizona, said she likes what Arpaio had done to go after the state’s undocumented immigrants.
“He’s doing what his constituents hired him to do,” she said. “They elected him, and if they didn’t like him, they wouldn’t keep on reelecting him.”

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment