Former Maricopa County Sheriff remains a hero to many
President Donald Trump, fresh off a visit to Arizona on Tuesday evening, has announced that he has pardoned longtime Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The former sheriff who was reelected to six four-year terms was found guilty of a misdemeanor criminal contempt conviction in federal court. The charges, which many viewed as the culmination of a witch hunt, stemmed from his office’s enforcement of the law relating to illegal immigration.
Sheriff Arpaio had been denied the jury trial he and his lawyers requested and the verdict was handed down by Federal District Judge Susan Bolton who served as judge and jury in the case.
A statement issued by the White House Friday night said, “Today, President Donald J. Trump granted a Presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.”
President Trump hinted that the pardon was forthcoming at the Phoenix rally Tuesday night.
The President previously referred to Arpaio as a “a great American patriot” who has done “a lot in the fight against illegal immigration.”
At the Phoenix event the president asked the massive crowd of supporters: “Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?” His question was greeted by cheers and applause from the thousands of people who filled the Phoenix Convention Center to capacity. “You know what, I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine,” Trump said. “But I won’t do it tonight, because I don’t want to cause any controversy.”
The statement issued by the White House enumerated Sheriff Arpaio’s lifelong commitment to the law:
“Arpaio’s life and career, which began at the age of 18 when he enlisted in the military after the outbreak of the Korean War, exemplify selfless public service. After serving in the Army, Arpaio became a police officer in Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas, NV and later served as a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), formerly the Bureau of Narcotics. After 25 years of admirable service, Arpaio went on to lead the DEA’s branch in Arizona.
“In 1992, the problems facing his community pulled Arpaio out of retirement to return to law enforcement. He ran and won a campaign to become Sheriff of Maricopa County. Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”
We couldn’t agree more!