Federal District Judge Susan Bolton found Joe Arpaio, who served as sheriff of Maricopa County (Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Chandler), Arizona for nearly a quarter century. Arpaio had been a Drug Enforcement Agent before being elected the sheriff, and had marketed himself as the “toughest sheriff” in America. Arpaio operated as a thug in sheriff’s clothes, intimidating Hispanics living in the county, harassing political opponents, promoting abusive detention practices, and ginning up conspiracy theories about President Obama. Arpaio campaigned with Donald Trump in 2016.
In her 14-page opinion, Bolton wrote:
Not only did Defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise.