Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff’, wants a contempt finding thrown out, according to a filing with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Tuesday, Arpaio, 84, Arizona’s top sheriff for over 24 years, along with two of his fellow officers, asked the court to void the civil contempt charge. U.S. District Judge Murray Snow in Phoenix held Arpaio in contempt for violating court orders originating from a 2007 racial profiling case.
Arpaio stated the judge “overstepped his authority and went too far by ordering extraordinarily intrusive reforms to the sheriff’s office.” Arpaio also felt that Snow should be disqualified for making “repeated improper communications and creating an appearance of bias,” including a statement that he “hated” Arpaio.
Arpaio’s name became synonymous for “tough on immigration” over the past few years due to the hard-line stance he took on policing and arresting illegal immigrants.
The contempt case came about because of allegations that Arpaio’s office failed to comply with a court order that would have curtailed the alleged racial profiling of Latino drivers stemming from the sheriff’s immigration patrols.
Arpaio lost his 7th bid for reelection to a Pheonix police officer, Paul Penzone, an Arizona Democrat.
U.S. Department of Justice has joined the appeals process on the plaintiffs’ side, and the plaintiffs have until Jan. 23 to respond to Arpaio’s filing. In October, a different federal judge ordered Arpaio to stand trial for criminal contempt, and that trial is set for April 4th.
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