Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the controversial anti-immigration official under federal investigation because his police practices and jail operations allegedly discriminate based on national origin, has reached a settlement with the Justice Department requiring him to turn over documents he’s refused to give investigators.
The settlement came after the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office let DOJ officials conduct over 220 interviews and review hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. From the settlement agreement:
DOJ has completed and MCSO has allowed, requested tours of Maricopa County Jail facilities, as well as interviews of MCSO staff, detention officers, posse members, and command staff, including two interviews of Sheriff Joseph Arpaio. DOJ has also conducted interviews of inmates in the Maricopa County Jails.
Taking into consideration the Sheriff’s office “expressed commitment to continuing cooperation,” the Justice Department “concluded that it can obtain any additional information it needs to complete its investigation without resorting to costly and protracted litigation,” according to the settlement agreement.
“We are pleased that since the filing of our lawsuit, the sheriff’s office has reversed course and provided the department with information we have been seeking,” Perez said in a statement.
DOJ sued the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office back in September for Arpaio’s “unprecedented” refusal to fully cooperate with their probe of his polices. The lawsuit came after Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez of the Civil Rights Division set a deadline for Arpaio to voluntarily turn over documents.
Arpaio’s attorney Robert Driscoll previously accused the Justice Department of conducting a fishing expedition against the sheriff. Driscoll told TPM he does not represent the county at this time and referred questions to his current counsel. A lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.