When one thinks who is the worst sheriff in America, one’s mind will automatically jump to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made headlines for years due to his archaic and often unconstitutional treatment of prisoners left in his care. Now the U.S. Justice Department is deciding if Arpaio will be charged with contempt for violating orders of the court in a case of racial profiling brought against the embattled lawman. Arpaio, by the way, is a staunch supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump who had been floated as a possible vice presidential candidate.
The embattled sheriff is accused of violating a 2011 court order which stated Arpaio’s office could not stop or detain individuals driving because the sheriff or his deputies were suspicious the drivers were not legal citizens. The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Murray Snow, also said Arpaio’s office did not comply with the order to preserve documents related to the stops in questions.
Timing is everything in politics, and the office of sheriff is an elected position. Arpaio claims the case against him is politically motivated. On August 30 Arpaio has to face the ballot box against three other potential sheriffs in a primary. If Arpaio were to win the primary he moves on to the general election in his bid for a seventh term.
Arpaio is being defended by Mel McDonald, a criminal defense attorney. When asked about the case McDonald said he was “not surprised about the transfer to the Justice Department” McDonald added, “it is immediately unclear what effect that will have in the case.” He went on to say Arpaio denies the allegations.