The PJ Tatler

Sheriff Joe Cleared of Charges in Federal Probe of Finances

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been cleared of any financial impropriety resulting from the use of credit cards and other financial matters connected to his office.

CNN:

Federal investigators have cleared controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office of criminal wrongdoing regarding allegations of financial improprieties.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona declined to file charges against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office after an investigation into claims of abuse of county credit cards, misuse of funds and other financial matters.

The investigation is separate from a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing Arpaio’s office of racial profiling.

The federal financial probe stems from a 2010 request from Maricopa County officials for help in investigating the claims of misuse of county funds. Federal authorities acted as “special deputy county attorneys” tasked with finding possible state charges.

Last year, federal investigators declined to press charges on several of the allegations. In a letter to the Maricopa County officials Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced it will not initiate charges on two remaining claims.

“I am very happy with that,” Arpaio said at a news conference.

Federal investigators “cleared my office of any abuse of power or wrongdoing that has been going on for years, and publicized almost every week for three years by the news media and critics,” he said.

Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” has long been a controversial figure for his tough, proactive stance against illegal immigration. But critics say his methods have created a system of racial profiling.

The sheriff is on trial stemming from a 2007 class-action lawsuit that alleges that his office “launched a series of massive so-called ‘crime suppression sweeps’ that show a law enforcement agency operating well beyond the bounds of the law.”

The U.S. Justice Department has also filed a separate civil rights lawsuit against him.

Did Arpaio’s office “target” Hispanics? Should TSA “target” Arabs? On the crime-ridden, murderous west side of Chicago, should cops “target” African Americans?

I realize there’s a fine line between “targeting” by race, and common sense law enforcement. But Sheriff Joe and his men are not going to be looking for eastern Europeans or even African Americans as subjects of interest who have crossed the border illegally. If the US bordered Russia or South Africa, he probably would.

There isn’t a debate about this important subject because as with all things racial, there is only one acceptable position to have; liberals are right and the right is wrong. Any other formulation of the debate is taken as a sign you are an irredeemable racist. Any attempt to employ common sense law enforcement techniques to this out of control problem of illegal immigration is considered “profiling.”

The investigation by authorities into the financial doings of Arpaio’s office was pure harassment. Soon, there will no doubt be something else that needs investigating as the profiling and civil rights lawsuits proceed against him.

I don’t know if Sheriff Arpaio is the “toughest sheriff in the US.” I do know he is the most targeted sheriff in the country. As he and his office stand on the front lines attempting to enforce the law, the harassment will continue so that he is made an example of to those who would defy a government that panders to the lawbreakers.