Sheriff Joe Arpaio Talks Criminal Contempt Case, Donald Trump Allegations

Published: Sunday, October 16, 2016 - 9:35pm
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(Photo by Matthew Casey - KJZZ)
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks at a National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration honoring Latino employees with MCSO.

About 26 percent of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office employees are Latino, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio visited a church in Surprise Saturday to honor them on the final day of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Arpaio addressed the crowd at the start of the ceremony. He told them about his Italian heritage and encouraged them to never be ashamed of their roots.

Arpaio’s remarks came days after federal authorities announced plans to pursue criminal contempt of court charges against him for willfully violating a judge’s orders in a racial profiling case.

The sheriff spoke about the case after the event. Arpaio said he did nothing wrong, and he will not accept a plea agreement to avoid a trial or jail.

“They want to play their politics,” Arpaio said. “I’m going to take a plea, for what? So I am going to fight this. I’m not going to resign like some of my critics want me to do. And I am going to be re-elected and I will continue serving this county.”

The sheriff has been a staunch supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who also had a a very bad week as multiple women came forward and accused him of sexual assault.

Arpaio said the allegations against Trump are “sad.” But he knows Trump has a heart, and Arpaio is with him to the end.

“We have to weigh any indiscretions he may have,” Arpaio said. “We’re all human. We all make mistakes. But we also have to feel that this country needs a new leader and that should balance out any allegations 20 years ago, whatever occurred.”

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