PHOENIX (AP/The Blaze) — Federal authorities trying to settle civil rights allegations against America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff say the sheriff’s office has negotiated in bad faith and risks ending settlement talks.
The U.S. Justice Department tells one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawyers in a letter Tuesday that the sheriff’s precondition of not having a court-appointed monitor to help enforce the agreement would result in the cancellation of negotiations.
A Justice Department lawyer says in the letter that Arpaio’s lawyer sprung this precondition on federal authorities on Tuesday.
Negotiations were set to resume Wednesday in Phoenix.
The Justice Department has accused Arpaio’s office of racially profiling Latinos and basing immigration patrols on racially charged citizen complaints that alleged no crime.
ABC News adds background:
The sheriff’s office has denied allegations of systematic discriminatory policing and asked federal authorities to provide facts to back up the allegations.
The Justice Department is seeking an agreement that would require the sheriff’s office to train officers in how to make constitutional traffic stops, collect data on people arrested in traffic stops and reach out to Latinos to ensure them that the department is there to also protect them.
The federal agency has said in the past that it’s prepared to sue Arpaio and let a judge decide the matter if no agreement can be worked out.
The sheriff’s office has denied the allegations.
Arpaio must settle the allegations with the Justice Department by April 14 or risk a trial.