The calls for Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff Joe Arpaio to resign amid a U.S. Justice Department investigation continued to grow as a group of black leaders implored the five-term official to step down, reports the Arizona Republic. Arpaio rejected the calls for his resignation and continued to depict the effort as a politically motivated ploy brought on by longtime opponents.
More than 20 black community leaders, including Phoenix Councilman Michael Johnson and local leaders of the National Urban League and the NAACP, stood on the steps of the U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix and said the results of the Justice Department’s civil-rights investigation demonstrated the need for an immediate change in leadership at the Sheriff’s Office. “They’re ganging up on me,” Arpaio said. “They know I can win next year. They think they can drive me out. It’s never going to happen.” The Justice Department findings, issued two weeks ago, accuse Arpaio of running an office that fosters institutional discrimination against Latino residents through the sheriff’s immigration-enforcement efforts and treatment of Hispanic inmates.