Sheriff Joe Fires Back at Feds' Allegations
Discrimination case a 'witch hunt': lawyer
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 16, 2011 7:14 AM CST
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

(Newser) – Arizona's embattled Sheriff Joe Arpaio is hitting back at Justice Department allegations that his office shows "a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias" against Hispanics. "Don't come to use me as a whipping boy for a national, international problem," he told reporters, saying he has "an idea of the politics involved in law enforcement," CNN reports. "I don't want to say it's all politics, but everyone I'm talking about happens to be Democrats," he said. His lawyer called the case a "witch hunt."

"I have compassion. I've worked in Mexico City working with the president," Arpaio said. "But I will tell you one thing: enforcing the law overrides my compassion." Meanwhile, it's not just the Justice Department that's got a problem with Arpaio: Homeland Security is cutting some ties with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the Los Angeles Times reports. The department is ending an agreement that allowed Arpaio's office to question inmates over their immigration status; DHS is also "restricting" the office's access to the Secure Communities program that allows the sharing of fingerprints among local, state, and federal officials, said Janet Napolitano.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
catchesthewind
Dec 17, 2011 3:48 PM CST
The only crime that Sheriff Arpaio has committed is the crime of embarrassing the feds and stepping on their toes. He is a capable, efficient and effective sheriff. Although the feds can deny him use of their computer facilities they cannot tell him what to do. His authority, nay the authority of any sheriff, to act predates government. Once elected, unless he commits a crime is invincible. The source of his authority is the people and it is the people that he answers to. SUPPORT SHERIFF JOE.
Kenja
Dec 16, 2011 4:42 PM CST
Any official of the law who doesn't investigate the rape of children should be arrested.
JoeQ
Dec 16, 2011 1:23 PM CST
What is just as worrisome as the racism is his apparent use of his law enforcement powers for political retaliation.