Wow. I am so enjoying Joe Arpaio squirm during the contempt hearing going on in Federal court in Arizona. To say that it isn’t going well for him is a major understatement. On Thursday, he had to admit on the witness stand that he had hired a private investigator to go after the judge’s wife.
News that Arpaio, an elected official who was once the subject of an FBI investigation that he abused his law-enforcement power, decided to have someone investigate a federal judge who is overseeing efforts to reform the Sheriff’s Office was met with gasps and murmurs in the downtown Phoenix courtroom.
Arpaio made the confession to Snow himself, after the judge questioned him about allegations made in a New Times article in June.
Snow took center stage after plaintiffs’ and defense attorneys finished their examinations with Arpaio on civil-contempt of court allegations.
After a few questions on the contempt and immigration matters, Snow shifted his focus to some of Arpaio’s more unorthodox operations.
Arpaio carefully skirted Snow’s line questioning at the beginning, and only under intense scrutiny provided detail of the covert mission.
Judge Snow has already very public expressed his exasperation with Arpaio and that sure as hell isn’t going to help. On all the other allegations, Arpaio is claiming that he had nothing to do with it, it was all the fault of his deputies, two of whom have now turned on him and are testifying against him.
Earlier in the day, plaintiffs’ attorney Stanley Young primarily focused on just one of these allegations Thursday morning, attempting to demonstrate that Arpaio knew of Snow’s order, and flouted it anyway.
Young used press releases, interviews and previous depositions to establish a foundation that the lure of political popularity and campaign funds drove Arpaio to continue the now-illegal practice…
Like Wedensday’s testimony, Arpaio attempted to distance himself from the unlawful practices of his office. When shown a deposition of one of his human-smuggling supervisors, in which the lieutenant said Arpaio had ordered him to take undocumented immigrants to Border Patrol, Arpaio objected.
“I don’t give orders, I may give suggestions,” he said. “I’m not in the military. I may have suggested border patrol, but my deputies made the decisions, based on the circumstances.”
Arpaio finished his direct examination with Stanley Young repeatedly denying that his law-enforcement practices were rooted in campaign donations.
Young reminded Arpaio that the sheriff had offered $100,000 to help settle the contempt of court allegations.
“That’s not as much as the $8 million in campaign contributions,” Young said.
They really need to put this on pay-per-view. I have a feeling Judge Snow is going to throw the book at Arpaio. Put him in his own tent city jail, in the pink underwear he makes inmates wear because he thinks it’s so funny, and make him eat the rotten food he feeds them.