Joe Arpaio opened an investigation to determine whether or not Obama was born a U.S. citizen. Since this is not in his jurisdiction as Sheriff, he assured everyone that the investigation was privately funded. Turns out that the Sheriff's Office, and in-turn the taxpayers, have been footing the bill for airfare and hotel room for the investigators. This is made worse by the fact that the investigation is frivolous since the 'birther' conspiracy has long been debunked.
An audio recording has surfaced of an Arizona sheriff playing his refusal to cooperate in a racial profiling investigation for laughs at a fundraiser for an anti-illegal immigration group in Texas. Arpaio continued to taunt his critics by saying his squads went out and arrested 500 illegals out of spite.
Arpaio has released the 'findings' of his "Cold Case Posse's" investigation into to the Obama Birther conspiracy. He claims that the long form birth certificate was a forgery, along with Obama's selective service card. Arpaio also suggested a cover-up when he could not find Obama's records in the Immigration and Naturalization Service archives. Arpaio says there is a person of interest in the forgeries but refuses to release a name. Obama's place of birth has already been established as Hawaii.
In alleging the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office committed federal and constitutional violations, a 22-page Justice Department letter described "a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos at MCSO that reaches the highest levels of the agency." The investigation began in 2008 has uncovered evidence of racial slurs, racial profiling, and other discriminatory actions against Hispanics. As a result of the report, Arpaio lost its authority to identify and detain illegal immigrants.
Over 400 reported sex crimes in the Pheonix area have either been inadequately investigated or ignored altogether. Charges ranging from child abuse to rape were overlooked during a 3 year period that ended in 2007 under the eye of Arpaio.
Federal prosecutors have uncovered evidence that Arpaio has misused nearly 100 million dollars in jail funds. As the investigation continues, investigators expect that number to go well above the $100 million mark.
Much like two years earlier, jails in Maricopa county were again found to be operating under unconstitutional conditions. Severe overcrowding along with detainees not receiving proper medical attention and being denied necessary prescription medications forced the courts hand once again. The courts once again issued a ruling that Arpaio must end the conditions and provide adequate medical treatment, sanitary food, and access to necessary medication for all inmates.
Over the two years prior to September, 2010, feuding between Arpaio and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas on one side, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on the other side cost at least $5.6 million, most of which was paid to private attorneys. Arpaio and Thomas filed several lawsuits against the Board of Supervisors, including a federal civil-racketeering suit against the supervisors, four judges and attorneys who work with the county. Arpaio and Thomas lost every case, either by ruling of the courts, or by dropping the case.
A 63 page memo, written by Arpaio's deputy chief Frank Munnell, was made public. The memo described years of misconduct and corruption by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office under Arpaio's supervision. The memo describes how top MCSO officials "willfully and intentionally committed criminal acts by attempting to obstruct justice, tamper with witnesses, and destroy evidence." The FBI began conducting an investigation.
Arpaio violated Arizona election laws by making in-kind donations with his direct-mailer that he funded in a year that he was not up for reelection. His 2012 campaign has been fined over $150,000 for the transgression.
The Department of Justice opened an investigation on the grounds that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was being violated by Arpaio's Sheriff's Office. Amid the accusations of unconstitutional and discriminatory search and seizures, Arpaio refused to cooperate with the DOJ's investigation claiming it was a 'witch hunt.' The issue was settled in June of 2011 when Arpaio released thousands of documents to the DOJ and allowed them to interview office employees.
Joe Arpaio used his political power to open criminal investigations against Maricopa County Board members. The investigations have been found to be bogus and politically motivated. All of the investigations, save for one, Sandra Dowling's, had to be dropped. None of the original counts that Arpaio brought against Dowling held up and she plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of patronage for hiring her daughter for a summer job.
Maricopa County inmate Scott Norberg died as detention officers held him in a restraint chair. Two officers strapped him into a restraint chair, wrapped his head in a towel and Norberg slowely suffocated. Two years later, Norberg's family accepted an $8.25 million settlement from the county and the sheriff's office.