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Arizona Sheriff ‘Scoffs’ At Possibility Of Expanded Federal Investigation

By Andrea Nill Sanchez  

"Arizona Sheriff ‘Scoffs’ At Possibility Of Expanded Federal Investigation"

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Bettina Hansen/The Arizona Republic

Bettina Hansen/The Arizona Republic

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio who is already facing a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe into his controversial immigration enforcement tactics “scoffs at the possibility that a federal civil rights and racial profiling investigation into his immigration raids and crime sweeps could be expanded into a broader look at his office’s use of power and finances,” according to the Phoenix Business Journal.

“I have nothing to hide. Let them look…They are just coming down here hoping to find something,” said Arpaio. However, it appears that federal officials might find more than Arpaio is willing to publicly admit. Maricopa County Supervisors already voted against accepting $1.4 million in state funding for Arpaio’s immigration enforcement. A Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles published in the East Valley Tribune chronicled the high cost associated with Arpaio’s immigration enforcement activities. According to the Tribune, the MCSO budget (excluding jails) nearly doubled from $37 million to $72.5 million since 2001. As of 2008, Arpaio’s office created a $1.3 million deficit in just three months. Meanwhile, crime rates are up and even the conservative Goldwater Institute has asked the state attorney general and Maricopa County attorney to investigate Arpaio’s office’s alleged practice of declaring unsolved crimes solved.

Arpaio took on the DOJ earlier this month when he accused officials of “not playing fair.” Arpaio has declared he won’t back down:

ARPAIO: Every law enforcement agency the DOJ has investigated in the past has bowed down or rolled over to the federal government. This agency and this Sheriff will not. Washington should not tell an elected Sheriff how to conduct his law enforcement responsibilities.

Arpaio will meet with Rev. Al Sharpton, who accused Arpaio of racial-profiling and called for his resignation, in a debate today. Last week, Arpaio forced his inmates to cook 5,000 pounds of beef liver for his birthday dinner.

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