Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s policies — and the lawsuits resulting from them — are beginning to defeat him at last. It seems that he’s having to pay for some of the cases out of pocket — and he can’t afford them. Now he’s begging supporters to offer their funds to keep him going. Is this the end of Sheriff Joe’s reign?
Sheriff Joe has made a name for himself through policies that are designed to make inmates suffer humiliation and discomfort, at best. In many cases, the living conditions are unsafe and unhealthy. Time described a few of his policies back in 2013 — when Arpaio eliminated all meat from the prison menus.
“[Inmates] are only given two meals a day, which they must pay for out of pocket. All inmates, even the mentally ill, are made to wear pink underwear, sometimes by force (the subject of recent litigation). And those residing in Tent City prison, a self-described ‘concentration camp,’ must brave summer temperatures as high as 117 degrees.”
Arpaio is also known for his hard line policies on immigration, including raids that were declared illegal by a Federal Judge, and other policies and methods that have faced challenges and suits.
In fact, there’ve been so many lawsuits, in may cases centering on his prison policies that resulted in sick or dead inmates, that Overthrow Arpaio says the taxpayers have paid millions to cover the legal fees.
Speaking of legal fees, it seems Sheriff Arpaio must’ve found money to file a suit himself last year — he attempted to sue President Obama over the President’s order on illegal immigration, but his lawsuit was dismissed.
Now, it seems the sheriff’s legal defense fund is running low. According to the L.A. Times, he’s sent a message to supporters, begging them to donate.
“In some instances I have to personally pay for attorneys to represent me in these cases. I do not have the personal wealth or the wherewithal to keep up with the costly demands of paying for attorneys to defend me.”
Arpaio doesn’t detail which instances require him to pay for his own legal fees, but they may include cases where the sheriff has defied legal orders — such as his current contempt charges in a case where Arpaio was ordered to put an end to racial profiling at traffic stops. According to the Phoenix New Times, Arpaio is actually acting to drag that particular case out longer through challenges and a call for the judge to step down.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a fan club — there’s no question about that. Will they still be fans when they’re called to pay the bill?
[Photo by:Joshua Lott/Getty Images]