Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s own words were the linchpin in the case against him, his quotes cited more than 20 times in a federal judge’s ruling that found him guilty of criminal contempt of court.
PLEASE TAKE NATIONAL POLLS AND PETITIONS. YOUR OPINION MATTERS Results Are Sent To Congress - Let Congress Hear Your Voice
PLEASE TAKE NATIONAL POLLS AND PETITIONS. YOUR OPINION MATTERS
Results Are Sent To Congress - Let Congress Hear Your Voice
According to a story in azcentral.com:
In a verdict filed Monday morning, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said evidence demonstrated Arpaio’s “flagrant disregard” for another federal judge’s order that halted his signature immigration round-ups.
The sentencing phase will begin Oct. 5. Arpaio, 85, faces up to six months in confinement, a sentence equivalent to that of a misdemeanor.
In what has become customary in judgments against Arpaio, Bolton liberally inserted the lawman’s public remarks, mostly issued through news releases and media clips, to support her opinion.
“Credible testimony shows that the Defendant knew of the order and what the order meant in regards to the MCSO’s policy of detaining persons who did not have state charges for turnover to ICE for civil immigration violations,” the ruling read.
“Despite this knowledge, (the) Defendant broadcast to the world and to his subordinates that he would and they should continue ‘what he had always been doing.’”
The verdict is a rejection of Arpaio’s defense: That the order was unclear and that, although mistakes had been made, the violations were unintended. Willful intent is required to prove criminal contempt rather than civil contempt.
Reached for comment on Monday, Arpaio deferred most questions to his attorneys but confirmed that he was surprised by the outcome.
“We presented a great case,” he said.
Arpaio’s attorneys issued a statement Monday saying he will appeal the ruling and will continue to press for a jury trial.
The statement went on to echo the argument Arpaio’s attorneys repeatedly turned to in court — that U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow’s order was too ambiguous to be understood and, therefore, followed.
“Joe Arpaio is in this for the long haul,” the statement concluded. “And he will continue to fight to vindicate himself, to prove his innocence, and to protect the public.”
Arpaio attorney Jack Wilenchik said the team will be arguing the jury issue “amongst many other things.”
“The verdict’s completely contrary to the evidence,” he said. “Just because another judge in the same court says that it is (that the order was clear) does not mean that it is as a matter of law.”