Man Sheriff Joe Arpaio Hired To Investigate Federal Agencies Tries To Intervene In Contempt Case

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 8:52am
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2015 - 1:39pm

Under questioning by the judge during contempt of court proceedings, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio admitted his office had hired Dennis Montgomery to do an unorthodox investigation. The next day, his chief deputy explained it had to do with surveillance by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Now Montgomery is trying to intervene in the contempt proceedings against the sheriff.

Following Arpaio’s admission that he had hired Montgomery as a confidential informant to help with the investigation, U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow ordered the sheriff to turn over all records of that investigation to the court-appointed monitor who is ensuring Arpaio’s compliance with court orders.

Montgomery is arguing that he is being unfairly impacted by that order and has lost control of his intellectual property.

In a motion dated Thursday, May 7, Montgomery asked that Snow allow him to intervene in the case, in order to “demand a return of his documents, records, work product and proprietary interests; to move to strike false information about him from the record, which is also irrelevant to the proceedings, to disqualify the Honorable Murray Snow and file a demand for the immediate transfer of the case to a different judge … and move for a halt to the inquiry.”

Montgomery has a colorful past and is no stranger to controversy. Over the past several years he has been discredited in media reports for allegedly scamming various federal agencies by selling them counter-terrorism technology that did not work. Montgomery has denied the allegations and has sued one of the journalists, New York Times reporter James Risen, for libel.

Snow is not obligated to allow Montgomery to intervene and therefore may not consider the motions at all.

Montgomery also filed a separate motion requesting that Snow disqualify himself from the proceedings.

Montgomery did not specify in his motion which information about him he was seeking to strike from the record. In their testimony in court, both Arpaio and Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan said they questioned Montgomery’s credibility and his investigation had not yielded results.

When Snow asked Arpaio if it was fair to say that “the informer was giving you junk,” Arpaio said, "Yes."

Sheridan also said Montgomery was using data he had copied from the CIA.

Montgomery is represented by attorney Larry Klayman, who also represents Arpaio in his lawsuit against the Obama administration for expanding deferred action and work permits to a larger category of unauthorized immigrants. Klayman is also separately suing the National Security Agency for its domestic data collection program and Montgomery is a witness in that case.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's chief deputy testified about Dennis Montgomery's investigation.

Updated 5/1//2015 at 1:38 p.m.