It was a busy week at the state Capitol. We’ll recap all the week’s top stories.
Government Calls More Witnesses In Second Day Of Joe Arpaio Trial
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s criminal contempt trial continued at the Federal Court House in Phoenix on Tuesday.
The day began with continued cross examination by the defense of Arpaio’s former attorney Tim Casey. The defense is trying to show that Casey didn’t do a good enough job informing the Sheriff of an injunction that Arpaio stands accused of violating.
The defense asked Casey what kind of advice he gave and when he gave it. In particular they focused on his use of telephonic and oral conversations as opposed to written or emailed directions for compliance with the injunction.
Defense Attorney Dennis Wilenchik accused Casey of dropping the ball. Casey quipped he was a former tight end and doesn’t like to fumble.
Casey continued to insist “My client gave me every indication that he understood the order and would follow it."
The defense continued their questioning of Casey with regard to his advice on handing over detainees to ICE and the Border Patrol. Casey said he only recommended the practice if the detainee was suspected of breaking a state law.
The government then called Arpaio’s former head of communications Lisa Allen to the stand. She worked closely with the former Sheriff for more than 20 years.
Allen testified that Arpaio used press releases to publicize his enforcement of federal immigration policy. She said news releases that she penned often ended with the phrase “the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will continue to enforce state and federal immigration law.”
Allen said she advised Arpaio to scale back on the releases, especially after the injunction was issued against the former Sheriff’s immigration enforcement operations - but Apaio refused to do so.
Allen told the court that she had very limited contact with Arpaio’s former Attorney Tim Casey. Defense attorney Ken Wilenchik said that proves their point that Casey is to blame for not explaining the importance of the court order.
"He knew there was litigation. He knew they were issuing press releases. How could he not know that? Everybody in the world knew that," Wilenchik said. "And not to go to Lisa Allen and say 'Hey you know what, you gotta be careful we’re in litigation and I need to review these.'"
A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy also testified. He told the court that the county’s Human Smuggling Unit continued to turn unauthorized immigrants over to federal authorities after the department was ordered to stop.