September 2nd, 2010
04:20 PM ET

Justice Department lawyers sue Arizona sheriff in civil rights probe

Terry Frieden
CNN Justice Department Producer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/09/02/arizona.sheriff.justice.dept/story.arpaio.gi.jpg caption="A lawsuit alleges Sheriff Joe Arpaio isn't cooperating with a probe into alleged discrimination against Hispanics." width=300 height=169]

Washington (CNN) - Justice Department civil rights lawyers filed suit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona on Thursday after talks collapsed on a deal to provide federal investigators with documents they requested.

The suit, filed in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona, claims the Maricopa County sheriff has failed to cooperate with the investigation into alleged discrimination against Hispanics by Arpaio's law enforcement officials.

The Justice Department expressed dismay at the sheriff's office's "refusal to cooperate with the investigation."

"The actions of the sheriff's office are unprecedented," said Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, chief of the Civil Rights Division. "It is unfortunate that the (Justice) Department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities."

The federal action became virtually certain after the sheriff's office last Friday rejected the government's demands in an open letter posted on the county's website.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Arizona • Immigration • Terry Frieden
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Ginger

    I think he is doing one heck of a job there should be more like him, then maybe Arizona would be safe from illegal immigrants. Get legal or go home.......

    September 3, 2010 at 12:42 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    His refusal as a state official to comply with a federal government demand from the justice department is obstruction of Justice in and of itself. He already creates the wrong impression of his Innocence by refusing data... it make me suspicious at least that he ( and his officers) have something to hide.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:41 am |
  3. bl

    the people support you sheriff!!!!

    September 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  4. Angela Savage Austin

    He asks "Why....Why now"?....Well Sheriff Joe Arpaio...why not now...if you are innocent of all charges....what does it matter...then, now, later!

    September 2, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  5. Karen

    He has been out of control for years.

    September 2, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  6. Andy747

    This guy Joe Arpaio and the Arizona DA office both are very FISHY.
    Now the Law Man is in TROUBLE with the law himself.
    Hand Cuff the Law Man and send him to his own jail for some cold beer and Pizza.

    September 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  7. pinball29

    This man is borderline insane, clearly. He needs to be stopped.

    September 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  8. Jones P McCarthy

    I believe Joe Arpaio's Law Enforcement Personnel are surreptitiously mislabeling the races of Hispanics as "White", "American Indian or Alaskan", and others in their booking information in order to misrepresent the actual numbers of Hispanics being prosecuted and incarcerated by the Arizona Judicial System.

    I believe he is using the disproportionately large numbers of Illegal immigrants and even legal Latinos living in his district to fill his prisons in order to increase the available funding, while deliberately masking the actual number of Hispanics incarcerated in his prison system.

    While the latter of these comments is only my opinion at this point, the former is an absolute fact. You simply need to look at the booking information for Maricopa County.

    September 2, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  9. MIguel

    when is our government going to admit that ILLEGAL aliens DO NOT HAVE civil rights. What they should get is a ride home or to the jail. If you don’t like what I said, your probably here illegally

    September 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  10. Robert

    This goes to prove that the Justice Department, the Supreme Court, and all the other unproductive institutions filled with lawyers and activist judges are out of control.

    It is more than revealing that whenever political extremists find it impossible to force their will at the poll, their next destination of choice are the Courts, specifically, the Supreme Court, precisely because the Courts are not accountable to the People.

    It is time for America to wake up and reform these institutions. Failing that, we need to drastically curb the power of unelected lawyers to make mischief.

    September 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm |