SENATOR JOE? Embattled former Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces run for Arizona Senate

PHOENIX, AZ — Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona who stood firm in his no-nonsense approach to law enforcement, announced Tuesday that he would seek to fill the Arizona Senate seat currently occupied by Republican Jeff Flake.

“I am running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Arizona, for one unwavering reason: to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission to Make America Great Again,” Arpaio, who was recently pardoned by President Donald Trump for denying a judge’s order to stop traffic patrols that targeted illegal immigrants, announced on his official Twitter page (https://twitter.com/RealSheriffJoe).

Arpaio’s announcement comes in response to Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake’s announcement that he will be retiring at the end of his term.

The 85-year-old Arpaio’s tough approach to crime has earned him both praise from his supporters and criticism from those who claim his stern treatment of prisoners is motivated by race.

In an interview with The Washington Examiner (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/joe-arpaio-running-for-senate-in-arizona/article/2645354), Arpaio denied the allegations and said he is prepared to take on his critics.

“I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump,” Arpaio said. “I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not being doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper, I get that everyday, anyway.”

“My mother and father came here from Italy, legally of course. I have a soft spot for the Mexican community having lived there,” Arpaio continued. “I’m not going to get into my personal life, but I will say we have four grandkids and some have a different ethnic and racial background. I don’t say that. I don’t use my grandkids. So, I have a soft spot, but still, I’m going to do my job. You have to do it.”

“Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff, because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans, believe me. It’s tough. It’s a tough decision. But, if you’re going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it,” he added.

Arpaio said he expects the road ahead of him to be a tough one, but said he is in it to win. In addition to winning over the Hispanic vote, the 24-year law enforcement veteran will need to gain the support of women. Former state Sen. Kelli Ward, an outspoken conservative, has announced that she, too, is vying for Flake’s seat.

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JUSTICE FOR JOE? TRUMP ‘SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING’ PARDON FOR ARPAIO

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Embattled former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio may soon be off the hook on charges of defying a court order courtesy President Donald Trump.

According to a report published Monday by Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/08/14/trump-seriously-considering-pardon-for-sheriff-joe-arpaio.html) the president is “seriously considering” pardoning the tough talking 85 year old.

“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” the president said during an interview at his New Jersey club. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”

Arpaio, who was found in contempt of court late July for continuing to question Hispanics about their legal status during traffic stops after being ordered not to do so, now faces up to six months behind bars. He is best known for his no nonsense approach to law enforcement during the 24 years he served as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, where inmates under his supervision were ordered to wear pink and sleep in outdoor tents in the often brutal Arizona heat.

Unapologetic for his tough stance toward criminals, Arpaio also banned inmates from possessing “sexually explicit material” including Playboy magazine, reinstituted chain gangs and was known to feed his prisoners a bland diet of bread and water.

“This is jail. Not a country club I’m running,” Arpaio once said.

President Trump said he disagrees with the conviction of Arpaio, who was simply trying to uphold the immigration laws of the land

“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration then Sheriff Joe?” Trump asked of Arpaio. “He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

As for when a pardon could be expected, Trump wouldn’t say, but indicated that he may move swiftly to pardon the former sheriff. “I might do it right away, maybe early this week. I am seriously thinking about it,” he said.

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SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE: ARPAIO FOUND GUILTY OF CRIMINAL CONTEMPT

PHOENIX, AZ — Tough talking former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was found guilty on Monday of of criminal contempt for defying a judge’s court order to stop traffic patrols that opponents say targeted immigrants.

Arpaio, 85, was charged with misdemeanor contempt of court for what prosecutors claimed was an intentional defiance of a judge’s 2011 order to stop detaining drivers on the grounds of suspected illegal immigration status.

During the trial, prosecutors told the judge that Arpaio blew off the 2011 to stop picking up suspected illegal immigrants, and handing them over to ICE and Border Patrol in an effort to win reelection during his 2012 campaign.

“He wanted to raise money and win re-election, and it worked,” prosecutor John Keller told the court.

Arpaio, who earned the nickname as “America’s toughest sheriff,” has long been known for his no nonsense stance toward illegal immigration and his tough treatment toward the prisoners in his jail. While prisoners in other jurisdictions enjoyed benefits such as air condition and cable TV, Arpaio prided himself on the fact that prisoners in his facility slept in tents and enjoyed no electronic forms of entertainment. “This is a prison, not a country club,” Arpaio said.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement on the guilty verdict shortly after the decision was announced:

“Although the election in November was a statement by this community to put an end to the prior administration’s practices, the verdict today by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton is a conclusion to the disservice and distractions caused by former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We have a great respect for the justice system and the process and responsibility to carry out justice.

As for this office, we remain steadfast in our efforts to serve the needs of public safety, to improve quality of relations with the community and to ensure that the men and women of this organization have the utmost respect for the law and the authority for which we are empowered.”

Sheriff Paul Penzone, Arpaio’s predecessor who defeated him in is run for re-election in 2016, announced in April that he would close down Arpaio’s tent jails and move prisoners to more modern facilities.

Arpaio is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 5 and faces up to six months in jail, although most legal analysts say that, due to his age, it’s doubtful he will serve jail time.

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