On Monday, ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt. In a jury-less court hearing, District Judge Susan Bolton found that Arpaio had intentionally defied a federal judges order in 2011.
In 2011 a District Judge G. Murray Snow issued a preliminary injunction ordering the sheriff and his deputies to stop targeting Latino motorist. Arpaio admitted to continuing the practice but argues he didn’t ignore the injunction intentionally, crediting the misunderstanding to his former lawyer’s understanding of the injunction. Following the 2011 injunction, at least 170 more Latinos were wrongfully detained.
Arpaio is schedule to be sentenced Oct. 5 and his sentence could carry up to a six month imprisonment and a fine. Arpaio’s legal team has already said they will attempt to appeal the conviction arguing that their client’s legal fate should be decided by a jury.
Joe Arpaio gained the title as “the toughest sheriff in the country” over the years for his tough approach to illegal immigration and his no nonsense approach to crime. Arpaio served as the sheriff of Maricopa county for 24 years. He lost his reelection bid last year to retired Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone, ultimately ending his long tenure.