Judge Sets Aside Dates For Possible Contempt Proceedings Against Sheriff

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Friday, January 16, 2015 - 9:20am

The judge who found the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office racially profiled Latinos has revealed more details about potential contempt of court proceedings against Sheriff Joe Arpaio for violating his orders.

In a telephone conference with the parties on Thursday, Judge Murray Snow judge said he was setting aside four days at the end of April for possible evidentiary hearings. 

In recent months, evidence has surfaced that the sheriff's office failed to follow the judge's orders.

Snow said during the phone conference there are three areas that could be explored for possible civil contempt of court charges against Arpaio and other commanders.

Among them is that the sheriff's office failed to tell deputies about an order Snow issued in 2011 to stop detaining immigrants for being in the country illegally.

Snow has said he may also refer the issue to a federal prosecutor for criminal contempt proceedings at the conclusion of civil proceedings. 

On Thursday, Snow fell short of confirming with certainty that civil contempt proceedings would go forward, though he seemed to indicate it was the course of action he is preparing for.

He has given lawyers on both sides of the case the opportunity to respond to briefs they filed on Jan. 8 on the matter.