Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Arizona lawman who was a relentless crusader against illegal immigration and who once proclaimed himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” was found guilty Monday of criminal contempt
Arpaio was accused of violating a court order in a racial profiling case by continuing patrols targeting immigrants.
US District Court Judge Bolton accepted fully the U.S. Justice Department’s argument that Arpaio essentially thumbed his nose at the federal government.
“Not only did defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise,” Bolton wrote in her verdict, released Monday.
“The evidence shows a flagrant disregard for Judge Snow’s order,” Bolton concluded.
Arpaio now faces up to six months in jail, although trial observers have said that outcome is unlikely.