The US Justice Department filed suit today against Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his refusal to provide documents in an investigation where they were requested over 15 months ago.
“The actions of the sheriff’s office are unprecedented,” said Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the department’s civil rights division. “It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities.”
The government has been trying since March 2009 to gain access to documents relevant to a probe of alleged discrimination, unconstitutional search and seizure and having discriminatory English only policies in his jails.
Arpaio denies that his office is involved in any racial profiling and states that ½ of the 1032 people arrested in his sweeps have been illegal immigrants.
Last year the federal government stripped Arpaio of his special powers that he had been granted to enforce federal immigration law. Arpaio’s office has said it will not comply with the document request in the investigation of alleged unconstitutional searches until they are more specific on exactly what they are investigating.