WHAT KIND OF EVIDENCE?

by Sharon Rondeau

(Nov. 9, 2015) — On Monday evening, the pacer.gov docket is showing four entries in Melendres, et al v. Arpaio, et al, a civil case which in December 2007 accused the Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) of racially profiling Latinos while attempting to enforce federal immigration law.

The Post & Email reported on the first two entries earlier today, which indicated that U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow granted a Motion to Seal Pleading filed by Arizona’s attorney general approximately a month ago.

The motion relates to a criminal investigation which has not been made public but could have stemmed from work done for the MCSO by confidential informant Dennis Montgomery over an 18-month period roughly between November 2013 and May 2015.

At Arpaio’s request, Zullo provided oversight of Montgomery’s work in Seattle, collecting his work product as it materialized.  On Friday, Snow denied Zullo’s request for a protective order relating to his request to withhold 87 exhibits from the court, which ordered that all documentation from the probe be turned over beginning in late April.  Zullo had complied with the subpoenas issued to that effect by submitting the information to Arpaio’s attorneys, who until October 21, Zullo believed were also representing him in his capacity as a witness.

After discovering that Arpaio’s attorneys from Jones, Skelton & Hochuli do not represent his interests, Zullo asked Snow for a 30-day extension to retain counsel which Snow denied.

The second two entries on Monday’s docket indicate that a “telephonic conference” was held and that “Matters are raised relating to the testimony of Michael Zullo, scheduling and exhibits which the County desires to admit into evidence. The Court discussed and refined the issues with the parties but no rulings were made.”

Zullo was scheduled to appear at a deposition on Monday morning.  At an initial deposition on October 23, he refused to answer questions without counsel present.

The court docket does not offer further detail as to the “exhibits which the County desires to admit into evidence.”

Four docket entries dated November 9, 2015 in the case of Melendres, et al v. Arpaio, et al

On Friday, Zullo indicated that if Snow denied his motions, he would make an emergency appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  As of Friday, Zullo had not retained an attorney.