The criminal conviction of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio marks the ultimate repudiation of his tactics, but the fallout over his legacy is still being felt across Maricopa County.
The taxpayer cost from a racial profiling case that led to his conviction is expected to reach $92 million by next summer. People who were illegally detained when Arpaio violated a court order in the profiling case will still need to be compensated. And Latinos say his legacy lives on in the form of fear.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton found Arpaio guilty of misdemeanor contempt of court July 31 for intentionally defying a 2011 court order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.
Arpaio was accused of prolonging the patrols for nearly a year and a half so he could promote his immigration enforcement efforts in a bid to boost his 2012 re-election campaign.
County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, a longtime Arpaio critic, predicted that it will take years for the sheriff’s office to rebuild its trust with the Latino community.
“When you have a sheriff for 24 years who did everything to build divisions between the community and the sheriff’s office, it will take a lot of time and money to rebuild those relationships,” Gallardo said.
The verdict marked a final rebuke for a politician who once drew strong support from immigration crackdowns but was booted from office last year as voters got frustrated with his headline-grabbing…
click here to read more.