Sheriff Arpaio Recall Effort Fails; He Will Appeal Judge’s Ruiling on Bias


Once again, Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff Joe Arpaio is at the center of political and legal controversies. Once again, it appears he will survive, reports NPR. Last week, a federal judge ruled that Arpaio had violated the civil rights of Latinos by engaging in racial profiling. Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” denies the charge and intends to appeal. The Associated Press says organizers of a petition to recall Arpaio, who was elected to a fifth term last November, fell short of yesterday’s deadline to collect 335,000 signatures.

His opponents made a mistake in targeting Arpaio right after the election, says Michael O’Neil, a pollster based in Tempe. “This court finding would have been perfect — they could have said, ‘This is documentation of what we’ve been saying all along,’ ” O’Neil says. “But because they jumped the gun going after him prematurely, I don’t see anything that dislodges him as a force.” Arpaio is best known for enforcing immigration laws strictly — or overzealously, depending on your point of view. “All of the efforts to take him out of office have failed for one basic reason,” says Robert Blendu, a former Republican state senator. “He stands up and says my job is to enforce the law. If you don’t like the law, change it.”

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