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America’s self-styled “Toughest Sheriff” has a bit of a problem with authority, according to his ex-lawyer.
Tim Casey, who was once the head of a legal team tasked with defending Arpaio against racial profiling charges, said today that he dropped Arpaio as a client because the Maricopa County Sheriff couldn’t handle “being told what to do.”
Arpaio is presently facing civil contempt-of-court charges in Arizona. Plaintiffs’ attorneys allege that his deputies continued controversial immigration-enforcement practices even after a federal judge deemed those practices illegal and ordered Arpaio to stop.
Casey testified on Tuesday that he had no less than three conversations explaining the judge’s order to Arpaio. “We’ve got to make sure HSU [human-smuggling unit] understands this right away,” Casey remembers saying.
HSU didn’t get the message right away. In fact, as many as 18 months may have gone by before the department came in compliance with the court order.
Casey told the court he was “floored” when he found out deputies were still profiling. The Arizona Republic reports he dropped Arpaio as a client not long after.
Throughout the trial, Arpaio has maintained that he never intentionally defied the judge’s orders. If the judge finds he did, the sheriff could face criminal charges, and, potentially, jail time.
[Image via AP]