Diogenes, the ancient Greek philosopher of Stoicism, is famous for carrying a lit lamp around town, claiming to be looking for just one honest man. Well, we have found that man, and he is Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Because the POS’s Department of (In)Justice tried to intimidate and harass him by launching a criminal investigation into Arpaio’s alleged financial misconduct. But on Friday, August 31, 2012, the federal government closed its investigation of nearly two years. More than that, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said no charges will be filed against the good sheriff.
According to NBC News, the investigation had begun in November 2010 at the behest of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to examine alleged financial improprieties by the county sheriff and his deputies.
A federal criminal inquiry into several of those matters was concluded last summer with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona declining to initiate criminal charges. Maricopa County authorities were informed on Friday that federal prosecutors had likewise declined to bring charges in connection with allegations that the sheriff’s office had misused county credit cards or misspent money from jail facilities excise taxes. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel said in a statement that her office “is closing its investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by current and former members of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.”
Arpaio, 80, who returned from the Republican National Convention on Friday night, said he was “very happy” with decision and that “I send my appreciation to the federal government for their hard work in clearing my office.”
However, a separate federal investigation since 2008 relating to allegations of civil rights abuses by Arpaio’s office is continuing. Arpaio has denied any wrongdoing and said he would cooperate with investigators.
In July of this year, Arpaio denied in testimony in a class-action lawsuit that his deputies targeted people because of the color of their skin. He was testifying whether police can target illegal immigrants without racially profiling Hispanic citizens and legal residents. “I am against anyone racial profiling … today as in my 50 years in law enforcement,” Arpaio told the court during cross-examination.
Arpaio is also known for outfitting county jail inmates in pink underwear, claiming the pink shorts are less likely to be smuggled out of jail and sold on the black market, and for housing inmates in a Tent City jail in Phoenix, even when Sonoran Desert summer temperatures soar to 115 degrees.
First voted into office in 1992 and reelected five times, Arpaio is seeking re-election to a sixth term as sheriff in November.
In two successive press conferences in March and Julyof this year, Arpaio announced that the extensive investigation undertaken by his all-volunteer Cold Case Posse found compelling evidence that the image of Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House in April 2011 was “definitely” a computer-generated forgery. Arpaio called this matter an imminent threat to U.S. national security and immigration laws. (Read more about this here.)
None of that made any difference because both the media and Congress ignored his team’s findings.
H/t FOTM’s Grouchy Fogie