Justice Department Sues Arizona's Sheriff Joe
He won't cooperate with civil rights investigation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2010 11:58 AM CDT
A file photo of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
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(Newser) – The feds have escalated their fight with Arizona's tough-talking Sheriff Joe. The Justice Department filed what it calls an "unprecedented" suit today against Maricopa County's Joe Arpaio because it says he won't cooperate with a civil rights investigation, refusing for more than a year to turn over records, reports the Arizona Republic. Arpaio's been accused of discriminating against Hispanics in his very public battle against illegal immigration.

"It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities," an assistant attorney general tells AP. Arpaio's office says it has balked at turning over more documents because the feds won't say precisely what they're investigating. Click here to read about Arpaio's past run-ins with federal authorities.