[READ] Department Of Justice Letter To Sheriff Joe: "You Are Wasting Time"
The Justice Department ended negotiations with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, accusing the sheriff of "not negotiating in good faith."
The department had formerly demanded that Arpaio install an independent monitor in his office to watch over tactics used by officers. Arpaio has refused to do so.
“I am the constitutionally and legitimately elected Sheriff and I absolutely refuse to surrender my responsibility to the federal government,” he said in a letter to the Justice Department today. “And so to the Obama administration, who is attempting to strong arm me into submission only for its political gain, I say, ‘This will not happen, not on my watch!’”
The Justice Department, along with ending negotiations, threatened to sue the sheriff Tuesday.
"We believe that you are wasting time and not negotiating in good faith," wrote deputy assistant attorney general Roy Austin Jr.. "Your tactics have required DOJ to squander valuable time and resources."
In December, after a three-year investigation, the Justice Department accused Arpaio's department of violating the civil rights of Hispanics. In addition to being criticized for forcing inmates to dress in pink underwear and housing some in a "tent city" in searing heat, Arpaio has taken the most heat for his tough tactics on illegal immigrants, including highly publicized "crime sweeps" in Hispanic neighborhoods. The Justice Department has accused Arpaio's department of illegally detaining Hispanic residents and denying them services in jail.
Tuesday's end in negotiations came one day before initial settlement negotiations were set to actually begin.
In early March, Arpaio tried to re-ignite "birther" claims against President Obama after holding a press conference to present "evidence" that the president's birth certificate was a fake.
For a look at the DOJ's letter to Arpaio and his department, see below:
Click here for a PDF of the letter.