- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Justice Dept. accuses Ariz. Sheriff Arpaio of racial profiling
Question of the Day
The Justice Department, which first targeted Sheriff Joe Arpaio four years ago in his suspected mishandling of illegal immigrants arrested in the Phoenix area, filed a civil lawsuit in federal court Thursday accusing the sheriff and his office using “unconstitutional and unlawful actions” in their handling of Hispanics.
• Discriminatory and otherwise unconstitutional law enforcement actions against Latinos who are frequently stopped, detained and arrested on the basis of race, color or national origin;
• Discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English skills;
• Illegal retaliation against their perceived critics, subjecting them to baseless criminal actions, unfounded civil lawsuits or meritless administrative actions.
The lawsuit comes in the wake of a breakdown of negotiations between the department and the sheriff's office over the appointment of a court monitor, who would oversee the office’s handling of those it arrests and detains, and direct operations regarding its enforcement programs and actions.
A “notice of intent to file civil action” came Wednesday from Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas E. Perez in a letter.
Sheriff Arpaio said a series of meetings between representatives of his office and the Justice Department were scheduled to begin this week to discuss ways to resolve allegations of racial profiling by his office, but Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin, a top litigator in the department’s Civil Rights Division, issued an ultimatum instead: It was absolutely mandatory for the sheriff's office to agree to an outside monitor otherwise there was no reason for further meetings.
The sheriff said the appointment of an outside monitor “essentially usurps the powers and duties of an elected sheriff” and transfers them to a person or group of persons selected by the federal government.
“Every policy decision, every operation, every new program in the jails and in enforcement, virtually everything would have to be approved by the monitor, nullifying the authority of the elected sheriff and eviscerating the will of the citizens of Maricopa County,” he said.
“I am the constitutionally and legitimately elected sheriff and I absolutely refuse to surrender my responsibility to the federal government,” he said. “And so to the Obama administration, who is attempting to strong arm me into submission only for its political gain, I say, ‘This will not happen, not on my watch.’”
The sheriff’s attorney, Jack MacIntyre, called a federal monitor the “most extreme proposal,” particularly in light of the fact that the federal government has refused to provide any details or proof as to how it came to the conclusion that Maricopa County Sheriff's Office employees engage in patterns and practices of racial profiling.
“We have never agreed to a monitor replacing the duly elected sheriff,” he said. “We have always been open to negotiating these issues raised by the DOJ, but never the appointment of a monitor.”
The Justice Department has maintained that the sheriff's office “negotiated in bad faith” and, as a result, put the settlement talks in jeopardy. It told Mr. MacIntyre in a letter Tuesday the sheriff’s precondition of not having a court-appointed monitor to help enforce an agreement to settle the civil rights allegations would result in the cancellation of negotiations.
“We believe you are wasting time and not negotiating in good faith,” wrote Mr. Austin, questioning whether the sheriff's office was ever interested in settling the matter. “Your tactics have required DOJ to squander valuable time and resources.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jerry Seper is the investigative editor for The Washington Times.
- With bombs away, drug traffickers and illegal immigrants make their play
- Medical-device company exec admits to bilking shareholders of $400M
- Justice Dept: Florida's disabled children unnecessarily put in nursing facilities
- Man gets 11 years in Philadelphia mob crackdown
- Eric Holder asks for respect from protesters of George Zimmerman verdict
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Calling prison term disparities unfair, Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow