The Latest: Arpaio lawyers disagree with judge's findings

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Posted: May 13, 2016 7:57 PM
The Latest: Arpaio lawyers disagree with judge's findings

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a judge finding Sheriff Joe Arpaio in civil contempt of court in a racial profiling case (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Lawyers for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office say they are reviewing a federal judge's ruling that found the longtime sheriff of metro Phoenix and three of his top aides in contempt of court for disobeying orders in a racial profiling case.

The attorneys said in a statement late Friday afternoon that they were reading and analyzing the 162-page ruling and "expect to file a responsive memorandum."

They say they disagree with some of the court's findings, but add the sheriff's office "will continue to work with the court-appointed monitor, the ACLU and plaintiffs to comply with the court's orders, as it has since January 2014."

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4 p.m.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's racial-profiling case has been expensive for Maricopa County taxpayers, who have spent $41 million in legal fees and other costs in the case over the last eight years.

Officials are schedule Monday to tentatively approve $13.4 million in additional spending on the case.

County Supervisor Steve Gallardo says it's unfortunate that taxpayers have to once again pick up the tab for the sheriff's mistakes.

Gallardo says the supervisors will appropriate millions of dollars so the sheriff's office comes into compliance with the court orders.

He says it's ironic that while citizens pay the bill for the sheriff's violation of the previous court orders, "they are the only ones who can remove Arpaio from office and restore professionalism to our law enforcement agency."

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3 p.m.

Besides Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a judge has found that three of the sheriff's top aides also violated a federal court order meant to curtail racial profiling.

Friday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow held Arpaio in civil contempt of court on three counts.

Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan was found in contempt on two counts. Lt. Joe Sousa and retired Chief Deputy Brian Sands each were found in contempt of one.

Snow held 21 days of evidentiary hearings between April 2015 and last November.

The judge ruled Friday that Arpaio and his aides continued to enforce immigration law after a December 2011 preliminary injunction was issued, failed to turn over video evidence required before the proceeding and failed to collect evidence afterward as ordered by Snow.

The judge has set a May 31 date for a hearing for attorneys to discuss penalties.

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2:35 p.m.

One of the lawyers who pressed a racial profiling case against an Arizona sheriff is applauding a federal judge's ruling that found the lawman and three of his top aides in civil contempt of court.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow said Friday that Sheriff Joe Arpaio "engaged in multiple acts of misconduct, dishonesty and bad faith" related to those who sued over the profiling and lied under oath during a hearing.

Attorney Cecillia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union says Arpaio "will be made to comply with the law."

She says "strong remedies are needed to protect the community's rights, starting with internal investigations that root out misconduct."

Neither Arpaio nor anyone from his office immediately returned calls Friday afternoon seeking comment on the judge's ruling.

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12:40 p.m.

A judge has found the longtime sheriff of metro Phoenix in contempt of court for disobeying his orders in a racial profiling case.

The decision Friday brings the lawman who calls himself "America's Toughest Sheriff" and is known for cracking down on illegal immigration a step closer to a possible criminal contempt case that could expose him to fines and even jail time.

It marks one of the biggest defeats for Sheriff Joe Arpaio and is expected to lead to greater court oversight of his office.

A hearing will be held May 31 to examine whether he'll face a criminal contempt case.

The six-term sheriff has acknowledged violating U.S. District Judge Murray Snow's orders, including letting his officers conduct immigration patrols 18 months after Snow barred them.

The civil contempt finding doesn't disqualify Arpaio from holding office.