The last time we checked in on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, he was having a terrible horrible no-good very bad day: He was facing a contempt of court charge for ignoring federal court orders telling him to stop racial profiling, and the judge in his case wasn’t very happy with him because Arpaio had sent a private investigator after the judge’s wife. But now Sheriff Joe is fighting back! He’s sent out an email appealing for help from patriotic conservaloons all over the nation, and he’s also asking for a new judge in his contempt case, because obviously that guy whose wife he investigated is biased. Yes, that’s the sort of logic that makes Joe Arpaio Joe Arpaio.
You sort of have to admire Sheriff Joe’s chootzpah in requesting a new judge. As we reported last time, Arpaio admitted in April that his attorney had sent a P.I. after the wife of U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow, but he had a very good reason for doing that: the Sheriff’s office had received a tip that Snow’s wife had said something about her intention to keep Arpaio from being reelected, making her a political enemy who had to be looked into. And in fact, Arpaio told Snow in that April hearing that the investigator confirmed with the tipster that Snow’s wife had indeed made comments to that effect.
So now, with the inevitable logic of the guy who shoots his parents and then pleads for leniency because he’s an orphan, Arpaio’s attorneys filed a motion Friday asking for Snow to be taken off the contempt case, because now the judge is personally involved in Arpaio’s legal troubles:
“No reasonable person with knowledge of the facts can deny that Judge Snow is now investigating and presiding over issues involving his own family,” Arpaio’s lawyers wrote in the filing.
This should be fun, and possibly precedent setting, since defendants could start claiming that they need a new judge whenever they behave badly enough to piss off the judge presiding over their case.
Arpaio’s apparently not winning Snow over in the contempt case, which stems from Arapio’s very public refusal to comply with Snow’s 2011 order to stop systematically harassing Latinos in traffic stops and immigration roundups. Arpaio had been quite open about his plans to keep going after illegal immigrants, because that’s good for reelection, even if it means ignoring other crimes, but in an April hearing, he told Snow he was really sorry, for reals:
“I want to apologize to the judge,” Arpaio said last month. “I should have known more about these court orders that slipped through the cracks.”
But apparently contrition doesn’t sit so well with Arpaio; in a fundraising email sent out Thursday, Arpaio portrayed himself as a victim of Big Latino, saying that “in the daily exercise of doing my job I am often targeted by groups that file legal actions against me for a variety of reasons.” And gosh darn it, his enemies just keep trying to ensnare him simply for keeping Maricopa County safe from all the brown people, which is why he needs your help:
In some instances I have to personally pay for attorneys to represent me in these cases. I do not have the personal wealth or the wherewithal to keep up with the costly demands of paying for attorneys to defend me.
He reminds readers, repeatedly, that since this is a legal defense fund and not a campaign fund, they should feel free to donate as much as they want, because there’s no limit as there would be for a political contribution. And by golly, he pledges to prevail:
I’m going to keep fighting for what I know is right. I took an oath to protect and defend the US constitution and I will keep that oath until my last breath.
But just to help him keep breathing, could you cough up some bucks? He keeps pissing off these judges who then hate him.