Federal judge discards criminal finding against Arpaio

Joe Arpaio
Joe Arpaio

PHOENIX – In light of the Aug. 25 presidential pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton dismissed her criminal contempt finding against him following a hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

The dismissal wipes Arpaio’s record clean and back to having only two parking tickets to his name.

After denying Arpaio the right to a jury trial, Bolton found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt for defying U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow’s order to stop enforcing U.S. immigration laws.

It was an unprecedented case of a career lawman being found guilty of criminal contempt for defying an order to cease enforcing immigration laws that originally stemmed from a case filed against Arpaio by an illegal alien.

After Trump’s pardon, Bolton stated Arpaio would “escape punishment for his willful violation” of Snow’s order.

Bolton, who called Arpaio’s criminal contempt charge “an offense against the United States,” found no other option than to toss out her finding of guilt since the presidential pardon preceded Arpaio’s sentencing as well as his option to appeal the verdict.

Arpaio, who did not attend Wednesday’s hearing, stated he was happy his conviction was dismissed, “especially since I wasn’t guilty.”

In appreciation of Trump, Arpaio said, “It took me 85 years to find my hero and it’s the president of the United States.”