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Joe Arpaio Basics: All You Need to Know

Carmen Cornejo
Written by Carmen Cornejo
Arpaio is Running for the Senate and He Wants Your Money Now

The GOP primary for the vacant US Senate seat just got interesting when Joe Arpaio announced he was running for the post just a year after being kicked out of the MCSO (Maricopa County Sheriff Office) by Maricopa County voters in November 2016.  Apparently, he did not have enough of BAZTA Arpaio.

Just last Friday, Congresswoman Martha McSally entered the race for the GOP primary (which she had announced to Congresspersons previously) making an interesting trio of anti-immigrants and ideologues: Kelli Ward, Martha McSally, and Joe Arpaio.

The trio is seeking the Senate seat left empty by Jeff Flake who is retiring from Congress.

Arpaio entered the race slashing McSally projected wide lead (in a two-race Kelli vs. McSally) and putting Arpaio just a margin of error short from the establishment candidate McSally’s lead.

According to some analysts, other Republicans may be tempted to also enter the race, such as former Congressman Ben Quayle.

The GOP primaries have become a circus of extremists. There are no candidates so far that can present an alternative to a moderate voter.

Even though Arpaio’s political ambitions realistically will fall short in the general election, Arpaio cannot quit the media attention and therefore is running again at 85 years old.  But there are more interesting reasons that explain why he is running again: Arpaio wants to get money from elderly and gullible seniors. Joe was quick to set the “donate” button on his campaign website but not quick enough to register with the Federal Election Commission, as astutely pointed writer Antonia Noori Farzan on a Phoenix New Times’ article.

Stay tuned for more on this saga.

Joe Arpaio Announces (Officially) He Is Running for the Senate. We Say: In Your Dreams, Joe.

Disgraced and voted out of office, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced he is running for the Senate seat that will be vacant when Senator Jeff Flake leaves his post. Immediately, the net exploded in laughter, touches of sarcasm, shame and embarrassment.

Just before losing the election in 2016, Arpaio was declared guilty of contempt of federal court for continuing to racially profile Latinos in Maricopa County. Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund was instrumental in providing funding to the nationally recognized and celebrated BAZTA Arpaio campaign, in which hundreds of young people mobilized low propensity Latino voters to fight with their vote against Arpaio.

The only reason he is not in jail in spite of his open contempt of court orders is that his pal, the “stable genius” Trump, pardoned him in a controversial move that did not follow the process of presidential pardons.

So many people are asking, Can convicted individuals run for office? Can they even vote?

Apparently, the pardon makes him eligible.

Does he have supporters? Sure. The share of the electorate that still supports him is just as minimal as those who support Trump. Believe or not, he has plenty of supporters who are not residents of Maricopa County, including anonymous Twitter trolls from faraway places who still post things like this.

But external and fake support is not enough to give him a win. Thanks to many activists, journalists and concerned citizens, we know Arpaio is morally unfit to hold any public office (not even dog-catcher). He squandered taxpayer money, paying out lawsuits against racial profiling, horrific inmate deaths that occurred under his watch, and attacks he made against his political opponents. And despite calling himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” he and his deputies failed to investigate more than 400 sex crime cases, many of them involving children.

Heck, you are reading this thanks to a lawsuit Mr. Lacey and Mr. Larkin won against Arpaio when he jailed them for publishing articles in Phoenix New Times against his misdeeds, an open affront to the first amendment of the Constitution.

The Melendres court case and its derived court proceeding and reform implementation bills are projected to cost taxpayers $100 million by 2018, according to the Arizona Republic. Yes, if you are a Maricopa County resident, you are still paying Arpaio’s bills.

Please tell me if that makes sense.

Arpaio’s Legacy a Year After His Dethronement

A year ago, Joe Arpaio was no longer sheriff of Maricopa County, after he lost his re-election in November 2015, and his opponent Paul Penzone took office. Members of the media marked the occasion interviewing the new Sheriff in town, about the change of management under the ever-present shadow of Arpaio’s 23 years legacy.

Even though Sheriff Penzone ended the shameful tent city (an array of surplus military tents which housed inmates under Arizona’s cruel sun) he stills inherits and deals with an unsolved set of issues from Arpaio’s reign. The culture of cruelty that Arpaio built through the years has not been easy to eliminate.

Here is a list of issues that remain to be solved:

Reforms ordered by the courts. Under the supervision of the court, Arpaio managed to implement a low percentage of reforms ordered by the judge, dragging his feet through changes. Penzone has moved the needle a little on the compliance side, but no more than 50% of the requirements.  Still, many changes need to be implemented.

Lawsuits bills yet to be paid. Maricopa County still is hit by bills and payouts result of Arpaio’s abuses and disdain for court orders. At the end of last’s year, a process was set for potential victims who were detained after the judge ordered Arpaio to stop his immigration patrols. You can read our post about this issue and get the link to claim compensation, here.

But the compensation fund is just peanuts compared with the bill derived from the set of rulings related to Melendres and the contempt of court proceedings.  The bill is calculated to near $100 million by 2018, according to with the Arizona Republic.

Officers still working under Arpaio’s racist culture. Great bias in officers’ conduct was identified by an ASU Study and Penzone has been slow in making the officers accountable. Many problematic agents remain on MCSO, still patrolling the streets.  In September, plaintiffs, lawyers, and MCSO agreed on a system to provide an identification system to flag problematic officers.

Food is as bad as under Arpaio. The inhumane food that Arpaio gave his prisoners has not changed a lot under Penzone. In November, 23 inmates declared themselves in a hunger strike as a protest against the mush MCSO still serves its inmates, and which Arpaio was proud to serve in his time.

ICE still occupies the jailsActivist groups denounce the new administration for keeping the Arpaio-era policy of having ICE agents inside the jails.

23 years of racist, authoritarian and anti-immigrant policies are difficult to change in few months. We are confident that activist, lawyers and the courts will be keeping the pressure to transform MCSO in an institution that deserves our trust.

Clinic to Apply for Arpaio’s Victims Compensation Fund Gives a Small Sense of Justice

As we reported in Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, some of Arpaio reign of terror’s victims may be able to seek compensation through a fund established by MCSO. Now the application period has started and the community has mobilized to assist claimants.

Judge Murray G. Snow ordered the creation of the fund in 2016 to compensate those who Arpaio illegally detained during immigration enforcement activities which had been prohibited by the court, but Arpaio dismissed publicly. At that point, Arpaio had been slapped down by the Federal judge for racially profile Latinos, during the years-long case Ortega Melendres v. Arpaio, and was ordered to stop his discriminatory immigration patrols targeting Latinos.

Here is the link to the compensation fund. 

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors set aside $500,000 to pay victims of the violated court order. But now, even members of MCBS believe that that amount may be insufficient to fulfill compensation for victims.

The Federal judge also ordered the county to hire a settlement company to “notice and outreach potentially eligible individuals”.

Lost wages, attorney’s fees, property loss and emotional distress, are among the items that can be added to seek compensation for victims detained by MCSO between Dec. 23, 2011, and May 24, 2013.

On Saturday, December the 9th, 2017, attorneys and activists gathered at First Church UCC in Phoenix with victims who were stopped or detained by Maricopa County Sheriff Office –MCSO- and guided them in the process of filing applications for the compensation fund.

The victims only have a year to act. They must file the application to the compensation fund from December the 1st. 2017 to December the 1st. 2018.

The participant organizations at the Saturday clinic included The ACLU of Arizona and Los Abogados (The Hispanic Bar Association of Arizona).

Community activist Raul Piña who is part of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) also created by Judge Snow to monitor reform in Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, mentioned that members of the community may be fearful to approach the clinics and file the application for fear to retaliation by ICE or MCSO.

However is important to note that the information provided by the claimants cannot be shared as established by  Federal court order.

Mr. Piña also indicated that victims should be pro-active gathering documentation of the stop or detention incident by MCSO to facilitate the process.

MCSO has identified 189 individuals who may receive compensation from the fund, but the number may not represent all the persons affected by Arpaio’s illegal enforcement.

Latinos Illegally Detained by Arpaio May Request Compensation

Maricopa County officials have set aside a $1 million compensation fund for Latinos illegally detained by former Sheriff Joe Arpaio when he disobeyed a Federal Judge’s order to stop enforcing immigration law and racially profile Latinos.

Judge Snow created this taxpayer compensation fund in 2016 for the illegal detentions, giving a one year application period which started last Friday, December the 1st.

Here is the link to the compensation fund.

Additionally, ACLU of Arizona, the Hispanic attorneys’ organization “Los Abogados”, and others will host a clinic next Saturday, December 9th, 2017 from 11:30 to 2:30 pm at First Church UCC where victims will be guided to file the compensation application.   First Church UCC is located at 1407 N. Second Street in Phoenix, Arizona 85004,

compensation fund1.jpg_large

Our disgraced former Sheriff was convicted of criminal contempt of court disobeying for 17 months District Judge Murray Snow’s directives to stop saturation patrols and the enforcement of immigration law.

Although Trump pardoned Arpaio, Maricopa County taxpayers are still liable for compensating victims of Arpaio’s criminal contempt of the Judge’s orders.

People who seek compensation must have been detained between late December 2011 and late May 2013.

Maricopa County will pay $500 for the first hour of a person’s illegal detention and $35 for each additional 20-minute increment up to $10,000 dollars, for injuries resulting from detention, lost wages and emotional distress. Community organizations and lawyers have been searching for victims combing through police records, traffic-stop videos, etc. It is calculated that at least 190 persons can claim compensation.

Our Founders Speak Out about Arpaio’s Pardon

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the media executives publishers of Phoenix New Times and former owners of Voice Mediawere illegally incarcerated in 2007 for posting and printing an article called “Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution” which exposed to Phoenix New Times’ readers Arpaio’s attempt to trample the First Amendment Rights of their readers.

Our courageous founders had been publishing a string of articles in Phoenix New Times describing Arpaio misdeeds and concealed property who Arpaio acquired with a public servant’s salary.

When they published an article that uncovered the unconstitutionally overbroad subpoena they’d been served which demanded New Times on-line readers’ information among other affronts to the First Amendment, Joe Arpaio incarcerated the duo.

Hours after the edition hit Phoenix’s streets, sheriff’s agents arrested Lacey and Larkin at their homes.

Public response to the arrests was immediate and unanimous. There were stories in USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Politicians, journalists and the general public expressed support for the two media executives and opposed Arpaio third world tactics.

“He was a terrible sheriff, a terrible jailer,” Larkin said. “But he was a great fucking politician, and I actually think he was a precursor to Trump. He may have ridden Trump’s coattails to a pardon, but in winning the election, Trump followed him. It’s hard to admit that because I don’t respect Arpaio for anything other than his political acumen.”

Lacey believes Trump granted the pardon as a way to pander to his racist base: “At the end of the day, that sort of racist, brutal, cracker philosophy appealed to enough voters that a joker like Trump thinks there’s some political traction to be had by pardoning the guy,” Lacey said.

We will keep you posted here.

Arpaio Insists He Will Run For Office (Again)

Joe Arpaio keeps letting the media know (again) he will get into politics, now supposedly aiming for a Senate seat in Arizona. Never mind that the former Maricopa County Sheriff lost his 2016 reelection thanks to a great collaborative effort from community groups united through the BAZTA Arpaio campaign which Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund supported.

This time, the conversation started again as a result of the Trent Franks’ scandal:  Just last week, the conservative and hypocritically pious Arizona Congressman announced he would be resigning when he admitted to repeatedly trying to persuade his staffers to be surrogate mothers of his child. Yes, super creepy.  Franks even offered the women $5 million.

Rapidly, the media assumed the former sheriff would go after Frank’s Congressional seat since his super-retrograde conservative ideology is very much in-line with Frank’s.

But surprisingly, old Joe Arpaio, who is 85 years old, stated to a Daily Beast reporter that he will be seeking the Senate seat that will be available with Senator Jeff Flake’s retirement.

Jeff Flake announced that he will be leaving the Senate as he no longer can a support the Republican party under Trump.

We suspect Joe is being delusional. He lost his post as Maricopa County Sheriff when voters finally realized that authoritarism and discrimination against Latinos are expensive and the taxpayers were and still are footing the bill for Joe’s contempt for the rule of law.

If that scenario is even possible, Arpaio will be running in the primaries with Maricopa county still paying many bills related to his misconduct, among them, payouts to victims of the saturation patrols recently announced.

Lawsuit Against Arpaio Seeks 4 Million Dollars in Compensation

Joe Arpaio was brought to a new trial yesterday accused by Austin Flake (the son of Senator Jeff Flake) and Logan Brown of malicious prosecution on the now-dismissed animal cruelty charges for the heat exhaustion dead of 21 dogs.

The animals were placed under Austin Flakes and his former wife Logan’s care. The Flakes were watching the dogs while the owners of the kennel, Logan’s parents, were in Florida.

Austin Flake, along with his now ex-wife allegedly suffered from depression and emotional distress as a result of the charges.

Foto: You Tube image

Foto: You Tube image

The lawsuit filed by Austin Flake alleges Arpaio pursued charges against them to cause political damage to Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who is not an Arpaio political ally. 

During the arguments, Austin Flake’s lawyers stated that the tragic death of the animals was not intentional and was an unfortunate accident.

The case against the Flakes was dismissed at the request of prosecutors when the owners of the kennel pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges. An expert had determined the facility’s air conditioner failed due to a malfunction as a result of improper maintenance by the owners.

If true, the charges against Arpaio fit a pattern political retaliation against his political opponents.

Arpaio has been accused at various points in his law enforcement career of retaliating against political enemies. For many years he has dogged claims that he launched investigations of judges, politicians and others who were at odds with him in political or legal disputes.

Those disputes have resulted in lawsuits against Maricopa County and Joe.

The federal judge presiding over the trial has determined previously that Arpaio didn’t have probable cause to charge the couple. The lawsuits allege that Arpaio tried to link the Senator to the dog deaths by conducting surveillance on Senator Flake’s home and examining phone record of conversations between the Senator and his son right after the death of the animals.

Arpaio and Flake do not share political views and Flake has publicly opposed Arpaio’s “Birther” 5-year quest, which questions the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

Additionally, this is not the first time Arpaio has been accused of trumping up charges in an animal cruelty case. It seems that is a tactic in his playbook to create public uproar.

According to with a notice of claim by Austin Flake and his ex-wife, which is filed as a precursor of a lawsuit, the couple is seeking 4 million dollars in compensation.

Maricopa County has spent as much as $141 million dollars defending Arpaio against lawsuits, including $54 million in the racial profiling case alone and $82 million in judgments, settlements, and legal fees, covering lawsuits over deaths in his jails and Arpaio’s failed investigations of his political enemies.

Joe Not Getting Away From the Courts. Federal Lawsuit Against Arpaio Will Go to Court Next Month

Karma is finally catching on old Joe. A Federal lawsuit against the former Maricopa County Sheriff, who was voted out of office a year ago, is scheduled to send Arpaio back to court.

This lawsuit alleges that Arpaio pursued a trumped-up criminal case to seek publicity and embarrass US Senator for Arizona Jeff Flake when his son, Austin Flake, was accused by MCSO of felony animal cruelty charges with his then-wife.

Arpaio, the fake pets benefactor.

Arpaio, the fake pets benefactor

The sad event that initiated the felony charges was the death of 21 dogs left under the care of Austin Flake and his wife in June 2014 at a kennel owned by Austin’s in-laws. The young couple was watching the dogs when the in-laws were out of town. Sadly, the dogs perished under an air conditioning malfunction in the small room, where the pets spent the night.

Prosecutors dismissed the case against the Flakes and the in-laws pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after an expert determined the air conditioner failed due to improper maintenance.

Arpaio was determined to link the pets deaths to the Flakes, to the extreme of conducting surveillance on Senator’s Flake home, according to reports on the LA Times.  Arpaio also sought phone records between Flake son and his father.

This is not surprising to us in Maricopa County.  Joe Arpaio is well known to be vindictive against real and perceived political opponents, even when there is no criminal case to make at all.

Arpaio Uses Old Tactic of Requesting a Judge Dismissal. This Time Did Not Work

The judge who ordered Arpaio to stop the racial profiling of Latinos in Maricopa County, rejected the former sheriff’s request to disqualify him from a racial profiling lawsuit that exposed his racist and abusive administration of MCSO. You can read about Melendres v. Arpaio here, and here. 


U.S. District Murray Snow on Tuesday November 14th,2017 rejected the request that Arpaio and Jerry Sheridan (his second in command) made days after Arpaio was defeated in last year’s election, almost a year ago.

Six months before Arpaio’s defeat, the judge found Arpaio and Sheridan to be in civil contempt of court for defying a court order to stop the sheriff’s traffic patrols that targeted immigrants and referred the case to criminal contempt proceedings.

Snow had previously rejected another request two years ago to leave Arpaio’s racial profiling case, alleging the judge created the appearance of judicial bias.

Arpaio used on several occasion these tactics to have judges removed from his cases, questioning their integrity in an effort to discredit their professionalism.

Will Joe Run Again in 2018?

Joe Arpaio must be really delusional at this point. He sent his supporters an e-mail asking them whether he should enter the race for the Arizona Senate seat left vacant by Jeff Flake.

Imagine that.

Jeff Flake decided to leave the Senate, in an effort to distance himself from the current administration, condemning Trump for “…personal attacks, threats against principles, freedoms and institution, the flagrant disregard for truth and decency.”

But our former sheriff is seeking the contrary: To embrace Trump tight, especially after 45 pardoned him.

Apparently, his new goal in life is to become Trump’s crony in the Senate saying “My friend, President Donald Trump needs a U.S. Senator he can trust to actually vote for action on illegal immigration, taxes, the economy and more”.

Previously he said that he was interested to run for Congress or Mayor.

Unfortunately, there is no legal impediment to running for office, after he was pardoned by Trump for disobeying a Federal judge orders’ to stop the racial profiling of Latinos in Maricopa County.

The Arizona Republic estimated he is still popular, in spite of the death rate in the jails he controlled, the racial profiling of Latinos and immigrant- persecution, the never-ending lawsuits, and the failure to investigate sex crimes against children.

If he decides to run, he will be encountering lots of protestors who will keep reminding the electorate of the unforgettable Sheriff Joe’s costly actions.


 Arpaio’s Attempt to Clean His Record Fails

Arpaio’s lawyers tried to clean up his record as if re-writing history and erasing all his malfeasance could be done with a legal magic wand but fortunately, they failed in the attempt providing a small sense of justice.

U.S. District Judge Susan  Bolton said yesterday President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio “does not revise the historical facts of his case” — and therefore she did not vacate her ruling that found him guilty of criminal contempt.

Arpaio, the racial profiler of Latinos who was Maricopa County Sheriff for more than 24 years, was granted a pardon by President Trump on Aug. 25. He had been found guilty of criminal contempt by a Federal Court and faced the possibility of up to six months in jail.

During the latest ruling, Judge Bolton stated that the pardon “releases the wrongdoer from punishment and restores the offender’s civil rights without qualification” but  “does not erase a judgment of conviction, or its underlying legal and factual findings.”

Arpaio was desperate to have the ruling thrown out in an attempt to clear his name and bar attorneys from using the ruling in future court cases as a precedent for his wrongdoing.

Legal experts are saying that Arpaio could be targeted by lawsuits stemming from his acknowledged disobedience involving a 2011 court order to stop his immigration patrols.

During court proceedings, prosecutors were able to establish the immigration patrols were ordered by Arpaio in an effort to get him reelected.

Victims who were illegally detained by Arpaio’s agents during the 17-month period in which the sheriff disobeyed judge Snow’s court orders may be able to apply for compensation.

At least 170 people were illegally detained during this period. These victims may be able to receive some monies from a taxpayer-funded compensation fund.

This ruling also may prevent him from running for office again.

Longtime activist and Arpaio foe Lydia Guzman stated: “It’s still on his record. If he had any inkling of running for office again, I would hope that his opponent, whoever would oppose him, would use this. This doesn’t erase the facts, as the judge said. The facts are the facts.”

 Tent City is Finally Closed!
Elections count and have consequences.
This time, an excellent outcome for immigrant communities just happened this week.
Tent City, the Al-Fresco, inhumane jail that Arpaio used as a propaganda tool has finally closed.
New Sheriff Paul Penzone ordered a review of the costs and benefits of keeping the jail open. The evidence was against the existence of Tent City and finally, on October 10, 2017, was finally closed, when the last inmates were transferred to a nearby indoor facility.
The closing of this horrific place will save 4 Million dollars per year to Maricopa County taxpayers. No reason to torture inmates and guards with the intense Arizona summer heat that can reach temperatures of 117 F.
 Arpaio Loses One Battle in Court

Unfortunately, Trump pardoned Arpaio after years of abusing his power as Maricopa County Sheriff but last week the former Sheriff lost another battle in the courts.

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied  Arpaio’s request for a jury trial in his criminal contempt case. Arpaio unsuccessfully sought a jury trial thinking that a sympathetic jury may have declared him not-guilty.

Instead, the case was decided by a judge who found him guilty of contempt of court for intentionally disobeying a court order as a result of Melendres v. Arpaio case.
 Pardon Lacks Support, Says Survey

Latino Decisions, a tracking poll that surveys the Latino community about current issues, has released their September poll on the current administration. The numbers do not look good for Trump and Arpaio.

Only 8 percent of Latinos strongly approve of the job of the current administration, with 53 percent expressing strong disapproval. The total number expressing disapproval is 76 percent.

Additionally, 59 percent of Latinos surveyed said Trump is doing a worse job than expected.

Eighty-two percent of Latinos said they disagree with Trump’s pardon of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Of that number, 69 percent strongly disagree with the pardon.

Latino Decisions surveyed a random sample of 755 Latino adults from September 12 to 19, 2017.

What does the public think about the pardon?

Sixty percent of Americans oppose Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, according to a recent poll. Multiple political analysts – including conservative commentators – wrote op-ed articles opposing the pardon. Our latest post highlights the opinion of Andrew C. McCarthy, a conservative analyst with the National Review, on why the pardon is “Unmerited, Unnecessary, Impulsive.”

Most Americans also oppose Trump eliminating Deferred Action for Young Arrivals (DACA).

Could there be a legal challenge to Trump’s Pardon of Arpaio?

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton canceled Joe Arpaio’s sentencing hearing for his criminal contempt of court conviction scheduled for October 5. She ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to file briefs listing the legal reasons she should vacate the criminal contempt conviction.

Additionally, a group called Protect Democracy wants to block the pardon by writing a letter to the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, arguing that the pardon violates legal processes and goes beyond constitutional limits.

Arpaio’s Tweets Remind Us of His Abuse

The Phoenix New Times posted a Twitter thread spotlighting some of the many abuses perpetrated by Sheriff Joe in his 24-year tenure. The posts went viral.

Trump Pardoned Arpaio. Can the Pardon be Undone?

After weeks of teasing the media about possibly pardoning Joe Arpaio, Trump pardoned the criminally convicted, racist and disgraced ex-sheriff, causing an uproar in the community.

Is there any possibility of reversing the pardon?

According to the Department of Justice, longstanding regulations call for waiting at least five years after conviction before filing a pardon application. Arpaio was convicted less than four weeks ago. A Presidential pardon at this point is “intervening in the middle of a legal proceeding yet to run its course… [and has] every appearance of being direct interference in the administration of justice,” wrote Bob Bauer, a professor at New York University School of Law, in the Chicago Tribune.

Read more of Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund’s analysis here.

What are the implications for non-citizens of Trump’s visit to Arizona and possible pardon of Arpaio?

Local attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta recently posted a warning to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen. He indicated that people who are not citizens should “stay away from any contact with law enforcement which can lead to an arrest during protests against Arpaio and Trump.” He stated that “my recent experience is that even if you have DACA or other temporary protection (TPS, etc.) if you get detained and taken to 4th Ave. Jail, it is very likely you will be processed through ICE.”

Read more here.

What is the landmark case that declared Arpaio a racial profiler?

The lawsuit Ortega Melendres, et al. v. Arpaio, et al. was a class action lawsuit filed in 2007. Following a three-week trial, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) was found to have engaged in racial profiling and unlawful traffic stops of Latinos.

As a result of the trial, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was ordered by the court to stop immigration enforcement, immigration raids, and traffic stops. U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow issued this decision, finding that Arpaio and his agency had relied on racial profiling and illegal detentions to target Latinos.

What is the latest information about the possible pardon by President Trump?

Arpaio was convicted after federal prosecutors proved his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office racially profiled and illegally detained Latinos, violating their constitutional rights. He is due to be sentenced in October and faces up to six months in jail. It’s possible Trump could wait till after the sentencing to pardon Arpaio, though many legal experts doubt the 85-year-old ex-sheriff will be sentenced to jail time.

Following Trump’s statement, Fox News contacted Arpaio, who responded, “I am happy he understands the case. I would accept the pardon because I am 100 percent not guilty.” However, Arpaio – a longtime outspoken supporter and friend of Trump – seems to be more concerned about the President’s reputation than Trump himself is: “I would never ask him for a pardon, especially if it causes heat,” Arpaio said. “I don’t want to do anything that would hurt the President.”

You can read more about the potential pardon here.

Department of Justice Asks Judge to Drop the Case Against Arpaio.

Following President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking Judge Bolton to have his conviction overturned.

This is an act of politicization by the DOJ that is not sitting well with many in Maricopa County.

Law experts and immigrant rights advocates filed a lawsuit challenging the pardon. You can read the legal document here. 

Campaign to Unseat Arpaio Through Civil Participation Earns National Award

Bazta Arpaio, the grassroots coalition that helped kick Sheriff Joe out of office after 23 years, was selected to win the Maclovio Barraza Award for Leadership at the 2017 National Council for La Raza (NCLR) Conference on July 10.

Part of BAZTA Arpaio leadership team. Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund were proud supporters of this team.

Part of BAZTA Arpaio leadership team. Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund were proud supporters of this team.

“This coalition kept the pressure on Sheriff Arpaio and demanded he either change his practices or get out of office,” announced Renata Soto, chair of the NCLR Board of Directors. “When Arpaio persisted with his fear-mongering tactics, Bazta Arpaio took to streets to protest, led walk-outs and rallies, engaged with the community via social media, and ran a hard-hitting get out the vote campaign in Maricopa County… They were determined to be the change they wanted to see in their community.”

Bazta Arpaio – a blend of basta, or “enough,” with the AZ of Arizona – combined the forces of numerous groups including the Center for Neighborhood LeadershipLUCHA, and Puente. The coalition of volunteers knocked on thousands of doors and made thousands of calls, mobilizing Latinos and new voters to head to the election polls.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund proudly supported the Bazta Arpaio campaign, as well as its composite organizations, including the Center for Neighborhood Leadership, and Puente.

Michael Lacey and I are very honored to have been able to assist the Bazta Arpaio team,” said Jim Larkin, co-founder of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. “We thank everyone for their efforts to bring this dark chapter of Arizona’s history to a close.”

During her acceptance speech, Viridiana Hernandez from Center for Neighborhood Leadership asked the audience to keep fighting against anti-immigrant: “We’re asking you to act, to join us in saying, Bazta Arpaio. Bazta Trump. Bazta the racism, the sexism. Bazta the homophobia. Bazta the hypocrisy. Bazta the collaboration with ICE. And Bazta separating our families.”

The Difficult Task to Uproot Arpaio’s Culture of Cruelty and Discrimination

After more than 23 years in power. Joe Arpaio was finally booted out of power by Maricopa County voters with help from community organizations with the BAZTA Arpaio campaign, which Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund sponsored.

However, although there is literally a new sheriff in town with Paul Penzone, the legacy of the former Sheriff lives on like a zombie from a bad horror movie.

Lawyers with the monitor team overseeing reform at Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) said that racial bias problems that plagued the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office persist.

“This agency still has problems with racially biased traffic stops,” said Cecilia Wang, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has driven for years a class-action discrimination lawsuit. “There are still supervisors in the agency who are still very resistant to change.”

The efforts to implement change and court-ordered reforms into MCSO face an uphill battle, due to the presence of problematic agents who still follow the old patterns of discrimination so prevalent under Arpaio’s reign.

Lawyers with the ACLU along with input from citizens members of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) want to comb the data produced by MCSO to find out if some deputies are unwilling to embrace racially neutral policing, and if some of their supervisors are still overly protective of them.

Paul Penzone

Paul Penzone

New Sheriff Paul Penzone said he will not get rid of the problematic agents and is confident that training and supervision will allow the agency to overcome old practices of racial discrimination through profiling. He pointed out that no investigation has determined the problematic agents are guilty of any wrongdoing.

Activists remain skeptical and continue to gather periodically with MCSO monitor team to make sure old practices common with Arpaio are uprooted for good.

 The Incident That Started Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund

This unique fund to support organizations fighting for immigrant rights, human rights and freedom of expression in Arizona, was created by former media executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin out of the 3.75 million dollars settlement they won against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

On the evening of October 18, 2007, ten years ago, armed deputies from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s feared “Selective Enforcement Unit” handcuffed and arrested Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. They were forcibly removed from their Phoenix-area homes and shoved into unmarked SUVs with dark tinted windows and Mexican license plates. They were later booked into separate jails managed by Arpaio.

The arrests had been instigated and carried out by Arpaio as retaliation for the courageous Phoenix New Times stories that exposed his misdeeds. The newspaper managed by Lacey and Larkin reported on Arpaio’s role in fostering anti-Mexican fear-mongering and political posturing in Arizona. In fact, when mainstream newspapers routinely dismissed Arpaio as just another offbeat but benign Arizona character, Phoenix New Times reported on financial irregularities and rampant mismanagement in the sheriff’s office; on retaliatory abuses of power against the sheriff’s critics; on substandard health conditions in Arpaio’s jails; on mistreatment and deaths of jail inmates; on Arpaio’s systematic persecution, racial profiling and unconstitutional detention of Latinos.

Lacey and Larkin were ostensibly arrested for posting and publishing a cover story in Phoenix New Times that revealed how, in a breathtaking assault to the Constitution, Arpaio’s allies at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office had issued grand jury subpoenas seeking details about the newspaper’s writers, editors, and readers, including readers’ personal browsing histories and IP addresses.

Instead of caving to the subpoenas, Lacey and Larkin wrote about it.


Phoenix New Times’ cover article which exposed the grand jury subpoena that violated First Amendment rights of NT reporters, publishers, and readers.

After a loud national outcry, Lacey and Larkin were released from jail in less than 24 hours. All charges were dropped.

The illegal detention of Lacey and Larkin set off a prolonged court battle centered on First Amendment rights and abuse of power

The Ninth Circuit noted that the grand jury subpoenas served on Lacey and Larkin had actually been invalid because the prosecutor had sidestepped required legal procedures. The court made clear that Lacey and Larkin were arrested without probable cause.

The appellate court’s decision paved the way for a  $3.7 million settlement paid to Lacey and Larkin by Maricopa County in 2013.

Lacey and Larkin earmarked the settlement money for the Frontera Fund, a unique initiative intended largely to benefit the Hispanic community that has borne the brunt of the racial animus and civil rights abuses in Arizona.

Who is Joe Arpaio?

Arpaio, born June 14, 1932, in SpringfieldMassachusetts, was Maricopa County Sheriff for 24 years, from 1993 through 2016. As such, he headed the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

During his tenure as Maricopa County Sheriff, he was called “the toughest sheriff” in the U.S. He was an outspoken and ruthless opponent of undocumented immigration, using the MCSO and his power to enforce immigration law at the expense of public safety.

He also had a marked disdain for inmates’ rights housed in Maricopa County jails. His agency was accused of neglect in several prison deaths.

He was accused and a judge finds him responsible for of racial profiling against Latinos during the lawsuit Ortega Melendres, et al. v. Arpaio, et al.

Arpaio openly disobeyed court orders to stop racial profiling and immigration enforcement. He was later accused of criminal contempt. He was declared guilty on July 31, 2017, following a bench trial by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton. He was scheduled to be sentenced in October 2017 but got pardoned by Trump. Please read below about Arpaio Pardon by Trump.

He was voted out of office on November 8, 2016.