AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio Referred for Criminal Contempt Charges

A federal judge in Arizona is referring Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the U.S. attorney’s office for criminal contempt charges. The case stems from racial profiling lawsuits in which Arpaio, an immigration hardliner and supporter of Donald Trump who spoke at last month’s Republican convention in Cleveland, was found to have violated various court orders. Immigration activists have long accused Arpaio of racially profiling Hispanics with his department’s policing and immigration enforcement techniques, particularly during traffic stops. He was found to have “engaged in multiple acts of misconduct, dishonesty, and bad faith” surrounding lawsuits against him, according to Friday’s court filing. It is unclear if the U.S. attorney for Arizona, John Leonardo, will accept U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow’s recommendation to indict Arpaio, who was held in civil contempt of court in May.