Trials & Litigation

Sheriff Joe Arpaio testifies in contempt hearing, says he delegated compliance with court order

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Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Christopher Halloran /

One of America’s best-known sheriffs has admittedly violated a federal judge’s order to stop racially profiling Latinos.

But did Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, do so inadvertently or intentionally? That is the question to be answered by a contempt hearing at which he testified on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.) reports.

Arpaio, who has previously billed himself as America’s toughest sheriff, was subdued as he explained that he had delegated to others the responsibility for complying with the order by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow.

“I never get involved in those types of decisions,” Arpaio told a Phoenix attorney representing civil rights plaintiffs who say they suffered from racial profiling. “I always delegate.”

Related coverage: “Contempt hearing bombshell: Sheriff Joe Arpaio admits he had federal judge’s wife investigated” “Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawyers protest federal judge’s questions during contempt hearing”

See also: “Trial looms for Sheriff Joe Arpaio in DOJ suit alleging retaliation against judges and others” “9th Circuit rejects Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attempt to remove judge in racial profiling case”

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