In what one news source describes as a “stunning about face,” Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has reportedly agreed to admit to what he has long denied — that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has violated a federal court order concerning the racial profiling of Latino drivers in an attempt to determine their immigration status.
The Arizona Republic newspaper reports that Arpaio, in a legal motion filed by his attorneys, “will admit he violated a federal judge’s order in his long-running racial-profiling case and agree to accept sanctions by the court….”
Western Journalism has frequently reported on ways in which “America’s toughest sheriff” has taken on the Obama administration, including the filing of a lawsuit seeking to stop the president’s executive amnesty orders from taking effect. Arpaio and the administration have often clashed on the subject of illegal immigration and what to do about it.
Close to two years ago, a federal judge ruled that the sheriff and his department had broken the law by targeting Latino drivers.
“As part of that ruling, [Judge Murray] Snow mapped out the steps Arpaio had to take to ensure his department ended the unconstitutional practice.”
Now, according to reports, Sheriff Joe is no longer claiming that he and his deputies have been complying with the court order; and he is agreeing to a finding of civil contempt.
“Defendants acknowledge and appreciate that they have violated the Court’s orders and that there are consequences for these violations,” his attorney wrote in a court filling on Wednesday.
Possible consequences of Arpaio’s admission include a public acknowledgement of wrongdoing or the establishment of a fund to compensate those targeted in his department’s profiling campaign.
WND quotes from the court filing that Arpaio’s legal team just submitted:
There is nothing Defendants can do to change what has already been done, but through the entry of an order finding them in civil contempt and by implementing remedies discussed herein, Defendants can express sincere remorse to the Court and to Plaintiffs, begin to make amends to those who have been injured and take affirmative steps to ensure nothing like this occurs in the future.
If the federal court orders Arpaio to compensate Latinos who were illegally profiled, the sheriff could find that he has to come up with much, if not most, of that compensation fund himself — a penalty that would sorely deplete any resources he might have to direct toward his re-election campaign.
Western Journalism reported in January that the 82-year-old sheriff intended to run for a 7th term as the top lawman in Maricopa County. When he announced that he was preparing to do battle in “the toughest campaign I have ever run,” Arpaio made no mention of the just-announced development that is likely to have an impact on his hopes of remaining “America’s toughest sheriff.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom