Judge questions Arpaio's truthfulness on witness stand

A judge presiding over an Arizona sheriff's racial profiling case has questioned whether the lawman testified truthfully about a secret investigation that critics say targeted the judge.

The contempt of court case against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is wrapping up. Both sides presented their closing arguments in a hearing that began in April.

It involves a racial profiling case against MCSO.

This marks the end of hearings that have been spread out over months.  The judge asked questions of the lawyers and it is pretty clear based on the judge's comments that he is questioning how truthful the sheriff has been.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow directed his most pointed questions and comments at the sheriff's attorney as he delivered his closing argument.  At one point, the judge said of the sheriff, "He has never been forthcoming with this court," and wondered of the sheriff and his top aide,"Whether these gentlemen are telling the truth or trying to deceive this court."

Years ago, the judge ordered the sheriff to stop enforcing federal immigration laws.  The American Civil Liberties Union claims the sheriff and his top aides ignored the judge's orders.

In court Friday, Arpaio's attorney, John Masterson claimed, "It was not intentional. It was not willful."  He also attempted to detail how the sheriff's office simply dropped the ball when it came to following their order.

But the ACLU painted a very different picture, saying "The sheriff continues to search for ways to undermine this court and its rulings."

And in the process of this hearing, disregarded court orders and accused the sheriff's office of destroying evidence.

One of the ACLU's lawyers pointed out that "Not one person [in the sheriff's office] was held accountable for the preliminary injunction violations."



 


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