Judge threatens Maricopa's Democrat sheriff with contempt

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

A new report from Courthouse News says a contempt charge is “likely” for the Democrat sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona, Paul Penzone.

He was elected to replace longtime “America’s toughest sheriff” Joe Arpaio, who had been sued over racial profiling back in 2007, and the case still hasn’t been finished.

Penzone reportedly has been unable to resolve the problem that triggered the action, according to the report, which explains a federal judge has accused Penzone of not complying with his order to overhaul how the agency investigates officer misconduct.

The report said U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow said Penzone’s department “clearly” is out of compliance.

“Even if I believe everything in the brief is true, which I don’t, I would still find the sheriff in contempt,” Snow told the attorneys during a hearing, requested by the Department of Justice.

The case began in 2007 with the arrest of Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, a Mexican immigrant. He later sued the agency and Arpaio, alleging he was racially profiled.

The judge earlier found Arpaio in contempt in the case, too, but he was pardoned by President Donald Trump in 2017.

The report explained as of January, the department had more than 2,000 misconduct cases open and an average investigation time of 552 days.

Under Penzone, the average length of investigations, limited to 180 days by statute, rose from 204 days in 2018 to 499 days in 2019, the government said in its March filing.

Penzone’s lawyer, Mary O’Grady, told the court the sheriff’s office was focusing on compliance.

“We know we have work to do, and we’re doing it, and we’d like to continue our effort in that direction,” she said.

Snow also indicated he’ll authorize discovery in the case.

Meanwhile Arpaio, though not in office, continues to work toward the goals of law enforcement in the country.

He recently worked with noted Attorney Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch USA, to create the America’s Sheriff website.

It is there to defend police who need defending, and to making sure that there are officers to arrive when Americans need help.

The alternative would be a chaos that would leave only the strongest, biggest, baddest thugs in charge, they explained.

The organization’s goal is to “restore law and order in this age of mounting violence by domestic terrorists who generally want to seize control and turn the nation into a social if not communist state,” the site explains.

“In so doing, radicals of all stripes and persuasions have attacked, maimed and even killed law enforcement officers, while leftist mayors and governors have stood by and watched, issuing stand down orders and tying the hands of police departments. This exposes the populace to an increasing wave of violent if not deadly crime,” they explained.

Sheriff Joe, famed for running his sheriff’s office for decades on the foundation that criminals need to be caught, locked up and punished, said he’s disgusted by what is infecting “our great country where the respect of the criminal justice system and our dedicated law enforcement officers has disappeared because of crooked politicians with a mission to destroy our country for political reasons.”

“Larry Klayman and I and all those who join and support America’s Sheriff will not stand for this! Without our brave police and other law enforcement the country is left defenseless,” he warned.

Klayman said the organization was created “to fill the void left by our virtually inert Justice Department, which by and large has abdicated its responsibility to defend the citizenry in these dangerous times.”

The evidence of the issue is in nearly every daily news report.

The Washington Examiner explained that police departments across the nation are struggling to attract recruits “because of the increasingly ‘toxic’ political environment.”

Thousands of officers have been retiring in waves, and the decline in the moral is being accompanied by a surge in crime. One recent weekend saw 46 shootings in Chicago alone, seven of them fatal.

Murders rose in 51 of 57 cities that release public data.

“We’re very worried,” National Sheriffs’ Association executive director Jonathan Thompson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This may well have been the ulterior motive — to just make officers so uneasy and nervous to just retire and call it quits.”

Arpaio, in an interview with WND, said the big scenario that’s developing “has to be turned around.”

He said the America’s Sheriff organization provides a way to defend officers who are being “thrown under the bus.”

“We are going to defend the cops,” he charged. Then, he added, the organization will “go after” those creating the problems.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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