PHOENIX A federal judge recommended on Friday that prosecutors bring criminal contempt charges against Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, finding that the controversial sheriff had violated court orders stemming from a racial profiling case.
U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow also urged criminal contempt charges against Arpaio’s second-in-command, Gerard Sheridan, along with Maricopa County Sheriff’s Captain Steve Bailey and an Arpaio attorney, Michele Iafrate.
In a written order, Snow asked federal prosecutors to file contempt charges for three alleged violations by Arpaio, who styles himself as “America’s toughest sheriff” and has built a national reputation for strong rhetoric and aggressive actions to crack down on undocumented immigrants.
Federal prosecutors must still decide whether or not to pursue a criminal case against the sheriff and others. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix could not immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Sandra Maler)