- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Lawyers pressing a racial profiling case against the sheriff of metro Phoenix have suggested the lawman’s second-in-command should be fired for violating court orders and making false statements on the witness stand.

The foes of Sheriff Joe Arpaio had previously asked a judge for immediate discipline for top aide Jerry Sheridan then upped the ante on Thursday by seeking his firing.

The lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union also asked the judge to bar Sheridan from having any involvement in reopening internal investigations into alleged misconduct by officers.

Previous probes have been deemed inadequate. Sheridan has been accused of undermining some internal investigations.

The requests came as U.S. District Judge Murray Snow mulls possible changes to Arpaio’s office in response to a contempt-of-court ruling against the lawman and Sheridan for defying a 2011 order to stop immigration patrols.

Sheridan did not immediately respond to a request for comment made Friday through the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Arpaio attorneys John Masterson and Joseph Popolizio said in a statement that ACLU attorneys who are pressing the case against the sheriff are overreaching.

“It is apparent that the ACLU is not interested in a just and reasonable remedy, commensurate with the violations found by the court,” they said.

Arpaio’s attorneys previously said they won’t contest the internal investigations but added that Sheridan, as an appointed administrator, is subject to the same disciplinary rules as other officers.

Sheridan agreed to accept a 40-hour suspension for violating the order to stop the immigration patrols. A previous internal investigation into which managers were responsible for violating the order concluded without anyone being disciplined.

The profiling case that Arpaio lost three years ago led to the contempt-of-court proceeding after Snow accused the sheriff and some of his aides of violating court orders. It morphed into a bruising review of the sheriff’s internal investigations, which have been criticized as fraught with biased decision-making and conflicts of interest.

Snow has not yet imposed punishments but is expected to order an overhaul of the agency’s internal affairs investigations and create a fund to pay damages to Latinos who were illegally detained when Arpaio ignored the order to stop the patrols.

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Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/jacques-billeaud.

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