Tough-on-crime ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio ‘optimistic’ after contempt trial

“He delegated them to do it, and they didn’t do it,” Wilenchik said.

The former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix intentionally ignored a court order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants to keep his name in the news during a tough re-election year, prosecutor John Keller said in closing arguments at Arpaio’s criminal trial.

Outside of court Thursday, Arpaio said he felt good about his case.

“What he said was, ‘I am enforcing the law,”’ defence attorney Dennis Wilenchik said.

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The 85-year-old faces up to six months in jail if convicted, though attorneys who have followed the case doubt that someone his age would be incarcerated. Arpaio is charged with misdemeanour contempt of court for keeping up the patrols that a judge later determined racially profiled Latinos.

A different federal judge issued the 2011 order. District Judge Susan Bolton, who will decide whether to convict him, ordered attorneys to submit legal briefs and will deliver her decision sometime in the future. U.S.

“ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has been taking them off our hands when we have no state charges,” Arpaio said in the March 2012 interview.
He also claimed an attorney who represented Arpaio for nearly six years in the racial profiling case didn’t give the sheriff clear instructions on complying with the order. Arpaio delegated the training materials to attorney Tim Casey and members of his staff.
PHOENIX — Prosecutors and defence attorneys on Thursday made their final pitches to a judge who will decide the fate of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a defiant longtime lawman whose crackdowns on illegal immigration made him a national name but ultimately led to criminal charges.
Prosecutors also cited Arpaio’s use of TV interviews to boost his popularity as they try to get a conviction from Bolton. Keller played videos of interviews in which the sheriff promoted his immigration enforcement efforts.

Arpaio’s immigration powers were eventually stripped away by the courts and federal government.

“He wanted to raise money and win re-election, and it worked,” Keller said.

Casey testified last week that he told Arpaio his officers would either have to arrest or release immigrants who had not been suspected of a state crime and could not bring them to federal immigration authorities.
Prosecutors said Arpaio knew that judge barred the patrols but cast himself as an anti-government figure and kept them going for nearly a year and a half to help his 2012 campaign.

Keller said Arpaio’s motive was to collect campaign contributions and used the sheriff’s words to back up his argument.
Arpaio’s lawyer denied it, saying the sheriff did not intend to violate the 2011 order that failed to take into account when his officers were helping federal authorities with immigration enforcement.

A clip from a Fox News interview six months after the order showed Arpaio saying federal authorities were taking custody of immigrants detained by his deputies, even though they had not been suspected of state crimes.

Arpaio’s tactics over 24 years in office drew fierce opponents as well as enthusiastic supporters nationwide who championed what they considered a tough-on-crime approach, including forcing inmates to wear pink underwear and housing them in tents outside in the desert heat.

Arpaio’s legal woes are believed to have contributed heavily to his crushing defeat in November.

“They don’t give you money if they don’t believe in you,” Arpaio said in a video clip recorded six months after the order.

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(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File) 4, 2009, file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, left, orders approximately 200 convicted illegal immigrants handcuffed together and moved into a separate area of Tent City in Phoenix. In this Feb.

Arpaio carried out the sort of local immigration enforcement that President Donald Trump has advocated. To build his highly touted deportation force, Trump is reviving a long-standing program that deputizes local officers to enforce federal immigration law.

Wilenchik said it was legal to turn over immigrants. His attorney said during his closing arguments that the 2011 court order was vague and didn’t confront times when the sheriff’s office was helping federal authorities.

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I’ve got good lawyers,” Arpaio said as he walked to a waiting vehicle. “I am always optimistic.