Arpaio's Office Accused Of Targeting Businessman

February 25, 2014

(Photo courtesy of KJZZ file footage)
Judge Snow chided Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his top aide.

PHOENIX (AP) — A lawyer for an Arizona restaurant owner said the sheriff's office for metro Phoenix targeted his client on identity theft allegations to discourage him from cooperating with federal officials who are pressing a civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff.

The attorney for Uncle Sam's owner Bret Frimmel said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office went from treating his client as a victim of employment-related identity theft to being accused of knowingly hiring employees who used forged IDs. The lawyer, Paul Chrlton, said the change in approach came as the U.S. Justice Department asked his client to cooperate.

Arpaio's office said Charlton's allegations were baseless. The sheriff's office has denied the Justice Department's allegations that it has racially profiled people and retaliated against Arpaio's critics.