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Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, pardoned by Trump, announces plans to run for sheriff again

Conservative Review

Former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has announced that he will be running for his old job under the slogan “Make Maricopa County Safe Again.” Arpaio was pardoned by President Donald Trump in 2017 after being found guilty of criminal contempt.

“On this day, August 25, 2019, after consultation and approval from my wife of 61 years, Ava, I have decided to run to be re-elected Sheriff,” the 87-year-old Arpaio said in a press release on Sunday. “Watch out world! We are back!”

This announcement comes two years to the day after Trump’s pardon for what Arpaio called “a scurrilous misdemeanor charge filed by President Obama’s administration.”

A federal judge in 2011 ruled that Arpaio's patrols were illegally targeting and detaining Hispanics. The judge ordered him to stop these patrols. The Department of Justice also found that he committed several civil rights violations including racial profiling.

Arpaio ignored this judge’s order and was found guilty of criminal contempt. He would later claim that his own attorney was to blame for “not properly explaining the importance of the court order.” He could have faced six months in jail for this, before his pardon from Trump.

After the pardon, he tried unsuccessfully to run for one of Arizona’s seats in the U.S. Senate in 2018, but finished in third in the GOP primary.

He also lost his election for Maricopa County sheriff in 2016 to Paul Penzone, who shut down the “tent city” detention centers that Arpaio had set up. These tent cities were subjected to over 100-degree weather in the Arizona desert.

Arpaio's Sunday statement promises that if he is re-elected, he “will re-open Tent City Jail and bring back his popular jail policies, reinstitute the Posse to its former strength and continue to enforce all Arizona laws that deal with drug trafficking, sex trafficking and other crimes associated with the border and illegal immigration.”

However, while Trump’s pardon cleared Arpaio of criminal charges related to ignoring the judge’s order, the order itself still stands.

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