The self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America" and his office are the subject of a federal investigation focused on allegations that they blatantly abused their power, including trying to intimidate county workers by showing up at their homes at nights to ask them about budget items, a county official said.
A grand jury is apparently investigating the allegations leveled by county officials against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose aggressive anti-immigration tactics have made him a nationally known law enforcement figure in recent years.Federal investigators are apparently looking into Arpaio's actions stemming from his anger over budget cuts handed down by county officials. The budget cuts were part of a long-running feud between Arpaio and county leaders.
Arpaio is well known nationally for all sorts of unconventional methods of incarceration. He's a hero to some and he's also made all sorts of enemies. Over the last couple years, he's made a very public display of arresting and incarcerating illegal immigrants.
He's never shied away from controversy and in the process he's ticked a lot of people off. If all the grand jury has are allegations that his deputies showed up at people's homes late at night to talk about work, this will be laughed out of court and it will be nothing more than a political witch hunt.
This is a case to watch. A lawman that subverts the law is totally unacceptable. Investigations that are political rather than criminal in nature are even worse.