Feds Look into Sheriff Joe Arpaio Abuse of Power Allegations

By Kamika Dunlap on January 15, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Department of Justice has impaneled a federal grand jury to investigate allegations of abuse of power by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Associated Press, Sheriff Joe Arpaio initially said he was unaware of the federal grand jury probe despite subpoenas sent to at least two county officials.

Federal officials have been investigating whether Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office are using their power to retaliate against critics.

America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" now faces intense scrutiny from the federal government. 

But this isn't the first time the feds have come down on Arpaio for using county's resources to go after illegal immigrants under federal immigration laws.

As previously discussed Arpaio was deposed in a civil suit over his immigration raids (where he said he has not in fact read all of his own co-authored book, and is not too fresh on the 4th amendment).

The conflicts appeared to have escalated recently since Sheriff Joe Arpaio stepped up his investigations of county officials amid heated political feuds over budget cuts and other issues.

As previously discussed, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has long clashed with county authorities over his harsh anti-immigration tactics.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is widely known for tough jail policies, making inmates wear pink underwear, serving them green bologna sandwiches and making inmates listen to his holiday hits playlist, as previously discussed.

Typically, a federal grand jury is impaneled at the end of an investigation to determine if a crime has been committed. If it believes there is sufficient evidence that the crime was committed, it will hand up an indictment.

Proceedings, which can last for months, will remain secret until the grand jury decides whether to issue an indictment.

The secrecy of the proceedings is intended to encourage witnesses to speak freely without fear of retaliation, such as threats from someone who does not like their testimony.

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