Thursday, August 19, 2010

USDOJ Gives Maricopa County Sheriff's Department Until Next Tuesday To Comply With Releasing Documents In Civil Rights Violation Probe

Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio

DOJ could sue Sheriff Arpaio and Maricopa County to get files, and access to sheriff's staff and county jail

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 19, 2010

Phoenix, AZ - On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) decided to give another week for Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio to release the remaining documents to the feds, in the year long civil rights violation probe. The deadline for the documents was Tuesday and Arpaio failed to provide the remaining files to the DOJ.
The DOJ vowed to sue the Maricopa Sheriff's Department, if Arpaio fails to comply again. The sheriff's department will be sued "to compel access to the requested documents, facilities and personnel," Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division said. 
In early August, the DOJ notified Sheriff Arpaio that he had failed to comply with a federal investigation into the department's civil rights violation probe. Since March 2009, the Maricopa Sheriff's Department has been under a federal investigation for "allegations of unlawful searches and seizures, discriminatory police conduct, and failure to provide basic services to individuals with limited English proficiency," according to DOJ records.
The DOJ requested at least 51 files and Sheriff Arpaio had only comply in releasing few documents. 
The Maricopa County Board contacted the DOJ and committed that they would seek the files from Arpaio, even if they had to subpoena them for the feds.
In 2010, the county budget included about $113 million in federal funds allocated to various departments and Supervisors were worried the feds might stop funding the county, if Arpaio doesn't comply.
Sheriff Arpaio and the sheriff's department have until next Tuesday to release the documents or get sued by the feds.

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