Retaliation Claims Re-Emerge During Sheriff’s Contempt Case

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arpaio confronted with recurring retaliation claims.

A Maricopa County sheriff’s official says he doesn’t think Sheriff Joe Arpaio should have been investigated for violating a judge’s order in a racial profiling case. Mike Olson conducted an internal investigation into who at the sheriff’s office was responsible for letting officers conduct immigration patrols 18 months after the judge ordered them stopped. The fax from an informant was written as a timeline of key developments in the profiling case: It cited the judge’s assignment to the case, claimed federal authorities were wiretapping one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s aides, and suggested both happened shortly after the U.S.

Mike Olson said Tuesday that he had extensive experience in dealing with internal investigations so it made sense that he was picked to decide whether his immediate boss, Jerry Sheridan, and others should be disciplined for violating the order. One is Salvador Reza, an activist who for years has advocated for day laborers, and against Arpaio and his immigration enforcement tactics. “To me, it is funny to see how karma comes around,” Reza said while eating lunch in the courthouse earlier this month. “And everything [Arpaio] has done to so many people, and now he is on the opposite side.” Reza has been in court when the judge in the case, U.S. I am sure there is fear inside of them.” There have been two rounds of contempt hearings, the first was in April, and the current one began in late September. Arpaio testified that others in his office ran the investigation, and he often had trouble recalling details, such as whether an investigator warned him to back away from confidential informant Dennis Montgomery.

Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe was charged with bribery in 2009 in a case brought by the sheriff’s office after Donahoe disqualified an Arpaio ally from an investigation. Snow is evaluating whether the violations of his orders were willful, and whether to refer the case to a prosecutor to pursue criminal contempt charges. “If I’ve missed one court date it was probably because I was really, really sick,” Guzman said outside of the federal courthouse recently.

But he said Arpaio was never held accountable for the unfounded case that damaged his reputation and caused him to spend $125,000 on attorneys. “He feels like he is above the law,” the now-retired judge said. “He has no integrity. … His tactic is, when he gets caught, is to say he knows nothing about it or doesn’t remember.” Arpaio’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment from the sheriff or a spokesman.

Casey said investigators at the meeting claimed there was a conspiracy against Arpaio that involved the judge — and that it could be proven if the agency continued working with Montgomery. In a conference call Monday with the judge, McDonald raised the possibility of getting criminal immunity for Mike Zullo, a volunteer sheriff’s posse member who examined Montgomery’s claims, in exchange for his testimony.

Apps said it is disappointing that taxpayers are having to foot the bill for the sheriff’s missteps — first for the original racial profiling finding against the sheriff in 2013, and then for this contempt of court case when the sheriff violated the judge’s orders. “My God, and this money we are spending?” Apps said during a break in testimony recently. “How many library books — how many libraries — could this build?” The racial profiling lawsuit and court ordered reforms are projected to cost Maricopa County more than $40 million through the end of fiscal year 2016. The agency paid Montgomery $120,000. “Even though someone may have a bad reputation, (he) one day maybe gives you — give law enforcement — some credible information.

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