“America’s Sheriff” Joe Arpaio was found guilty Monday of misdemeanor criminal contempt without the benefit of a jury of his peers.
The guilty ruling, by Bill Clinton-appointed U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, is the latest chapter of a nearly decade-long saga of legal proceedings against Sheriff Joe initiated by leftist groups opposed to his aggressive policing of illegal aliens. The 85-year-old Arpaio now faces up to six months in jail.
The charges against Arpaio stem from a civil rights suit demanding he cease “racial profiling” in his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s immigration enforcement operations. After a federal judge issued an order demanding certain practices, Arpaio was charged with contempt for continuing to try to enforce the law as he saw fit.
Because Arpaio was charged only with a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six-months in jail, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee him a right to trial by a jury of his peers. Arpaio and his attorneys repeatedly petitioned for a jury, only to be denied by Judge Bolton in March and again in May.
Sources familiar with the proceedings have told Breitbart News the decision to charge only the misdemeanor was likely a ploy by federal prosecutors to avoid a jury trial in the community where Arpaio served as sheriff for more than 20 years.