Department of Justice Drops Arpaio Case



The U.S. Attorney's Office has dropped its investigation into Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The Arizona Republic reports:

Scheel wrote that the agency declined to initiate any state criminal charges arising from its broader appointment to pursue state charges that may have come up in connection with the federal investigation. Several federal attorneys had been deputized to handle state crimes arising from the investigation.

"Law enforcement officials are rightfully afforded a wide swath of discretion in deciding how to conduct investigations and prosecutions," she wrote. "Unfortunately, such discretion can act as a double-edged sword: although it empowers fair-minded prosecutors and investigators to discharge their duties effectively, it also affords potential for abuse. Our limited role is to determine whether criminal charges are supportable. After careful review, we do not believe the allegations presented to us are prosecutable as crimes."

Ray Stern at Phoenix New Times is disappointed:

That's it.

Game over. No more wondering if the feds are going to haul Arpaio off for whatever crimes he may have committed.

Do we think a criminal case could have been made? You know it.

From arresting New Times executives at night under bogus pretenses to entering into an "unholy collaboration" with Andrew Thomas (who was disbarred for his unethical actions) to blatently targeting of political enemies to his "I was duped" remark about his former chief deputy's alleged crimes, Arpaio hasn't been held accountable by anyone.

Especially voters, who appear poised to re-elect him to a sixth term.

Nick R. Martin at Talking Points Memo notes:

Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s civil case against Arpaio continues. Earlier this year, the department’s Civil Rights Division sued the sheriff and his agency, alleging widespread abuse and profiling of Latinos. A department spokesperson told TPM late Friday that case was still ongoing.

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