Federal Judge Holds Arpaio, Aides in Civil Contempt of Court

RULES SHERIFF’S CONTEMPT “BOTH KNOWING AND INTENTIONAL”

by Sharon Rondeau

(May 13, 2016) — Six months to the day on which testimony on a civil contempt accusation arising from Melendres, et al v. Arpaio, et al, which found Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio had violated the plaintiffs’ civil rights, Judge G. Murray Snow ruled that Arpaio and several of his staff, both former and current, are in contempt of his orders.

Melendres was filed in December 2007 by the ACLU.  The plaintiffs are also represented by the law firm of Covington & Burling.

Arpaio has led the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) for five terms and is seeking re-election to a sixth term in November.  He previously worked as a federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent in Mexico and overseas.

Over the years, Arpaio has taken a strong stance against the incursion of illegal aliens across the Mexican border to Arizona and other border states.

In December 2011, Snow issued a preliminary injunction against Arpaio’s patrols and neighborhood sweeps which sought to detain illegal aliens in the county.  In his ruling on Friday, Snow reiterated that Arpaio had been found to have violated that order prior to the civil contempt hearings.

The 162-page ruling concludes that Arpaio has been held “in civil contempt” on three counts, while his chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan, was found in contempt on two counts.  Two others, including retired Chief Brian Sands, were included in the first count.

On page 5, Snow wrote:

In his ruling, Snow took the position that Arpaio, Maricopa County Cold Case Posse member Mike Zullo, and Detective Brian Mackiewicz carried out an “investigation” of him in concert with a confidential informant, Dennis Montgomery, whose work for the MCSO began in early 2014 and concluded in April of last year as contempt hearings were under way.

Snow accused Arpaio and his subordinates of failing to conduct internal investigations properly and timely and of withholding evidence produced by Montgomery for the MCSO.

Although Snow indicated that Montgomery’s work was completely discredited by Arpaio’s attorneys and the sheriff himself, Montgomery was granted immunity by the FBI in August of last year in another case as reported by his attorney, Larry Klayman.

Snow cited as problematic the fact that Arpaio has used Klayman as his attorney, although not in Melendres, and that Klayman has also represented Montgomery.

Neither Klayman nor Montgomery was allowed to intervene in the case, as they requested last fall, while the U.S. Department of Justice became an intervenor.

Snow found particularly troubling a graph Montgomery had constructed alleging communications among various parties, including Snow, with the alleged purpose of tapping Arpaio’s phone, breaching email accounts, and harvesting the banking information of tens of thousands Maricopa County residents.  Snow termed Montgomery’s work as predicated on a “bogus conspiracy theory.”

Montgomery is a former CIA and NSA contractor whose home was raided by the FBI in 2005, with a federal judge ruling that the raid was unconstitutional in 2006.

Last fall, local media were eager to witness Zullo’s compelled testimony.  While Zullo originally invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent in light of the fact that he did not have representation, on Thursday, November 12, he decided to answer questions put to him by the plaintiffs’ attorney, Stanley Young.

Following Zullo’s lengthy testimony for the remainder of that about Montgomery’s work, including his contention that Snow was, in fact, a “victim” of illegal government spying, no one in the media sought to interview him.

On November 7, Snow stated during a hearing to the defendants that “the government may choose to prosecute you,” perhaps tipping his hand as to whether or not he would refer the civil case for criminal contempt investigation.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed suit Arpaio twice since 2010, with both cases appearing to have been ultimately settled out of court.

In an interview following his testimony, Zullo told The Post & Email that Montgomery produced some work product of value.

Snow set a hearing for May 31 at 9:00 a.m. for plaintiffs and defendants to “discuss with the Court the above matters pertaining to relief.”  Following the session, Snow wrote that “the Court…will shortly thereafter enter any applicable orders and determine if it will refer any matters for criminal contempt.”

22 Responses to "Federal Judge Holds Arpaio, Aides in Civil Contempt of Court"

  1. Voter   Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    It’s OK for Obama and the democrats to pull Mid-Easterner’s off airplanes though. And to badmouth whites. HYPOCRITES.

  2. OPOVV   Monday, May 16, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    Dear Andrew Cook;

    Great comment, except for attributing me stating that, “everyone has been racially profiling since the day they were born.”
    Never did I write such a stupid statement and at no time in my life did I ever say anything so dumb.
    What I stated was the obvious: we all profile: I never used the word “racially”.
    We all understand that illegal immigrants have certain rights but we also have the right to defend ourselves.
    Granted the TSA and the MCSO have some common characteristics, but that’s as far as it goes. I’d wager that the word “intent” looms large in any discussion regarding the violation of a citizen’s 4th Amendment rights.
    One could argue that the “intent” of the TSA is to see how far they can push us citizens until we fight back.
    One could say that the Arizona cop’s reason for detaining people was to send a message to the illegal immigrant community that they’re not wanted in our country.
    Getting back to crossing the “T’s”: the end result is that somewhere in our country an illegal immigrant just raped and murdered a little girl.
    Unfortunately that’s just the sad truth. I wish it were otherwise, but it’s not.
    I also understand that we’re a nation of laws, but we’ve long passed the point of trying to explain that an illegal immigrant is, by their very existence in our country, a lawbreaker.
    What we have here is a broken record: we’ve all heard it before. When I was in Vietnam the biggest enemy I had – and everyone else – was the United States government itself. The government’s stupid rules, regulations and destructive Rules of Engagement would drive anyone mad, which it did on more than one occasion.
    This court case is getting a lot of attention; the one that should’ve held the spotlight was when LTC Terry Lakin got railroaded in a kangaroo Court Martial.
    Go ahead and compare notes between the rights of an illegal immigrant and an honorable Army doctor who just wanted to know whether his CIC was eligible to hold the office of president, a completely lawful and reasonable request.
    So who has more “rights”, an illegal immigrant or a homeless Veteran?
    I hope the answer doesn’t surprise you.
    Sincerely,
    OPOVV

  3. Andrew cook   Monday, May 16, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Question for OPOVV:

    You state that everyone has been racially profiling since the day they are born. While that may be true, it is a violation of the 4th amendment for an agent of the government to detain someone based soley upon the color of their skin.

    Are you ok with law enforcement agencies detaining people ( citizens and non-citizens ) simply because of the color of their skin? Do you think that it is ok for a law enforcement officer to stop people at random and ask them for identification to prove their citizenship?

    I ask this because this is exactly what the MCSO was doing. They were violating the civil rights of citizens and non-citizens. And in spite of your statement that “illegals have no Constitutional right,” I have to disagree. They are covered under the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments. In fact, the framers made only the right to vote exclusive to citizens. The Supreme Court has stated that neither the 1st nor the 5th amendment “acknowledges any distinction between citizens and resident aliens.” Furthermore, the Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that “the Due Process Clause applies to all ‘persons’ within the United States, including aliens, whether their presence here is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent.”

    If you want further information on the Constitutional rights of foreign nationals, you can find it at http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1302&context=facpub.

  4. Kevin J Lankford   Monday, May 16, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    To answer spectator:

    The check point was once at our border, but that has been abandoned. When our own courts refuse to allow the reasonable, then contempt is the appropriate response.

    The root of the problem is our corrupted venal govern, corporate industry and businesses in pursuit of labor at starvation wages, and world bankers with many others complicit in the pursuit of a one world government of total oppression.

    Oh and of course all the fools falling for the oxymoronic mantra “strength in diversity”.

  5. Spectator   Monday, May 16, 2016 at 8:36 AM

    “The question is not of Arpaio: the question is of the judge’s silence on Obama’s eligibility: Snow’s and ALL the other judges and State and Territories’ Attorneys General for failure to convict Obama in their Court, even if it’s a traffic court, even if it’s in absentia, for Pete’s sake.”

    The court hearings were about Sheriff Arpaio’s failure to comply with a court ordered injunction. President Obama was not the subject of the Melendres v. Arpaio contempt of court hearings. However, if the validity of the White House posted PDF of President Obama’s long form birth certificate had been the subject addressed by the Snow court or any other court, the following official document would have ended the discussion rather promptly:

    http://azcapitoltimes.com/wp-files//verification-in-lieu-of-certified-copy.pdf

  6. David Pickhardt   Monday, May 16, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    Arizona Identity Theft Statute Not Facially Preempted by IRCA: Ninth Circuit

    Resource type: Legal Update: archive Status: Published on 06-May-2016 Jurisdiction: USA

    In Puente Arizona v. Arpaio, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Arizona’s identity theft laws (Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13–2009 and 13–2008(A), as amended by H.B. 2779 (Legal Arizona Workers Act) and H.B. 2745 (Employment of Unauthorized Aliens)) were not facially preempted by provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) regulating employment of unauthorized aliens.
    Practical Law Labor & Employment

    On May 2, 2016, in Puente Arizona v. Arpaio, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Arizona’s identity theft laws were not facially preempted by provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) regulating employment of unauthorized aliens (2016 WL 1730588 (9th Cir. May 2, 2016)).

    Background

    To attempt to solve problems stemming from illegal immigration and employment-related identity theft, Arizona passed in 2007 and 2008, respectively:

    H.B. 2779 (Legal Arizona Workers Act), amending Arizona’s aggravated identity theft statute to prohibit using the information of another (real or fictitious) person “with the intent to obtain employment” (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13–2009).

    H.B. 2745 (Employment of Unauthorized Aliens) expanding Arizona’s general identity theft statute to also cover employment-related identity theft (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13–2008(A)).
    In response to increased prosecutions under the amended laws, Puente Arizona, along with individual unauthorized aliens and Maricopa County taxpayers (Puente) sued Maricopa County officials, Maricopa County, and the State of Arizona, challenging the amended identity theft laws as unconstitutional.

    In August 2014, Puente:
    Moved for a preliminary injunction solely on its facial preemption claim.
    Relying on Arizona v. United States, argued that:
    IRCA established a “comprehensive framework” for regulating the employment of unauthorized aliens; and
    therefore Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13–2009 and 13–2008(A) were facially preempted.
    (132 S. Ct. 2492 (2012).)

    In January 2015, the district court:
    Agreed that the laws were likely unconstitutional on their face.

    Granted the requested preliminary injunction on conflict and field preemption grounds.

    Enjoined Arizona from enforcing:
    Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13–2009(A)(3); and

    the portion of Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13–2008(A) that addresses actions committed ‘with the intent to obtain or continue employment.’
    Denied Maricopa County’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss under Monell v. Department of Social Services because control is just one factor in the Monell policymaker analysis (436 U.S. 658 (1978)).

    Arizona appealed to the Ninth Circuit, challenging the district court’s preliminary injunction. The district court has yet to consider the merits of Puente’s as-applied preemption challenge.

    Outcome

    The Ninth Circuit reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded, holding that:
    Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13–2009 and 13–2008(A) were not facially preempted by provisions of IRCA regulating employment of unauthorized aliens.
    The court did not have pendent jurisdiction over the issue of whether the county was subject to Monell liability.

    The Ninth Circuit first considered the rules that apply to facial challenges, noting that:

    In United States v. Salerno, to succeed on a facial challenge the plaintiff must show that “no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid” (481 U.S. 739 (1987)).

    In the First Amendment context, the Supreme Court recognizes a type of facial challenge in which a statute will be invalidated as overbroad if “a substantial number of its applications are unconstitutional, judged in relation to the statute’s plainly legitimate sweep” (United States v. Stevens, 559 U.S. 460 (2010) (quoting Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997)).

    Whether the “substantial number of applications” test applies to facial preemption challenges has not yet been decided by the Supreme Court.
    Without more direction, it is appropriate to continue applying Salerno (United States v. Arizona, 132 S.Ct. 2492 (2012); Sprint Telephony PCS, L.P. v. County of San Diego, 543 F.3d 571, 579 n. 3 (9th Cir.2008) (en banc)). Puente must overcome a high bar under Salerno before the court can strike down the identity theft laws on this facial challenge.

    The identity theft laws are not facially preempted because they have obvious constitutional applications, for example:

    the scope of this appeal is based solely on Puente’s claim that the identity theft laws are facially preempted under the Supremacy Clause. Based on this facial challenge, Puente asked the district court to enjoin enforcement of all applications of the identity theft laws. Without a fully developed record it is inappropriate now to enjoin only certain applications of the identity theft laws; and

    it is significant that the identity theft laws are textually neutral, that is, they can equally be applied to unauthorized aliens, authorized aliens, and US citizens. It is not possible to tell that the identity theft laws undermine federal immigration policy by looking at the text itself. Only when studying certain applications of the laws do immigration conflicts arise.

    Practical Implications

    Arizona continues to enforce its identity theft laws. Identity theft remains a major issue for immigration enforcement, as employers are tasked during the Form I-9 process with assessing whether documents presented appear to be genuine and related to the person presenting them. Until the district court rules on when the laws are preempted as applied, employers in Arizona may be subjected to raids and investigations as part of the State’s enforcement of these laws.

  7. Sharon Rondeau   Monday, May 16, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    What is the source of the quoted material?

    Something that has not been discussed here is that a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s opinion that Arizona’s identity-theft law, which Arpaio was reportedly attempting to enforce through specific actions, is not unconstitutional: http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2016/160504/news-ninth-circuit.html

    Has Obama upheld the immigration laws of the U.S.?

  8. OPOVV   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 11:44 PM

    Look, at least let’s agree on LCDR Walter Fitzpatrick’s being accused, arrested and convicted for the sole fact that the NAVY man just wanted to see his president’s legal BIRTH CERTIFICATE, just as LTC Terry Lakin did, for which Lakin received a Dishonorable Discharge after spending almost 6 months in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.
    And can we extrapolate that Arpaio’s “problems” arise because he’s been rather vocal about his government’s failure to uphold the law regarding illegal immigration?
    And can we ALL add 2 + 2 and come up with Obama = FRAUD and that the DOJ is a cesspool of Muslim-admirers, if not in fact?
    Having experienced combat as a first-hand exercise in survival, I’m here to tell you that the niceties of crossing all of the “T’s” and dotting all of the “I’s” is, truth be told, an unreasonable expectation.
    The question is not of Arpaio: the question is of the judge’s silence on Obama’s eligibility: Snow’s and ALL the other judges and State and Territories’ Attorneys General for failure to convict Obama in their Court, even if it’s a traffic court, even if it’s in absentia, for Pete’s sake.
    And you better believe you’d want me as your Company Commander because with me the chance of getting out alive is really great; that’s AFTER we have rendered true and overwhelming SMITE upon the enemy.
    You with me on this? And, yes, I’ve actually walked the walk and paid dearly for the bragging rights with 17 years of nightmares and an unwanted divorce.
    Try having been grabbed by the hair by one while the other is pressing a Bowie knife against your throat and walking away with just a gash on your forearm.
    On the other hand, don’t try it.

  9. Spectator   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 11:42 PM

    “What they seem to be insinuating is that once illegals are here they are home free and need not fear unless they are actually caught red handed in the commission of another crime, and even then they may well be turned lose and never seen again. I personally would contend that when the number of illegals is so vast the issue of “unreasonable searches and seizures” takes on a whole new perspective. The simple fact that one can not speak english would/should be considered “reasonable” cause of suspicion, as would be many other easily observed clues.”

    Once across the southern border and into American communities, how does a law-enforcement official tell an illegal border crosser from an American citizen of the same color? Should we put up checkpoints on every American street corner asking for all people to produce their papers? What is the reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop American citizens at these street corner checkpoints? Would the American public accept this affront to their constitutional rights? Sheriff Arpaio and his office were ordered by the U.S. District Court not to arrest people, that included American citizens, without probable cause that an Arizona crime had been committed. Probable cause is basic law-enforcement 101. For 18 months, Sheriff Arpaio intentionally ignored the injunction of the court. Arpaio has now been found by the court to have intentionally violated the injunction, and Arpaio has admitted under oath that he violated the court ordered injunction. Arpaio may now face criminal contempt referrals for his actions.

    Secretary of State, John Kerry recently stated that we are living in a borderless world. President Obama stated that the concept of national sovereignty is antiquated. I believe that it is their sworn duty and responsibility to protect our borders and the sovereignty of our nation, just as it is Sheriff Arpaio’s sworn duty to follow orders of the court and our constitution and the laws of Arizona.

  10. Spectator   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    Sharon,

    Your comment, “If evidence later shows that they and we have been “misled,” that truth will be reported, as with anything else.”

    To me that is a very honest approach in helping to give your readers accurate information so that they can make their own decisions regarding an issue.

  11. Clark Kent   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    If Jesus- the son of God, was accused of blasphemy and murdered, what chance does one of the most respected sheriffs in the nation have against the judge. Political payback for going after the fraud residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

  12. Kevin J Lankford   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    I know little about the case against Arpaio, but it does seem to me that considering the number of illegal aliens now roaming free in this nation can easily be placed above 50 million, that it is the court and the government that is being contemptuous, and intentionally neglecting its responsibility to our Constitution and the true U.S. citizens.

    What they seem to be insinuating is that once illegals are here they are home free and need not fear unless they are actually caught red handed in the commission of another crime, and even then they may well be turned lose and never seen again. I personally would contend that when the number of illegals is so vast the issue of “unreasonable searches and seizures” takes on a whole new perspective. The simple fact that one can not speak english would/should be considered “reasonable” cause of suspicion, as would be many other easily observed clues.

    Any one denying this bleeding heart nonsense is not intentional strategy for the furtherance of our own destruction can only be in partnership with these venal judges and corrupt establishment.

  13. Sharon Rondeau   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 3:10 PM

    As long as commenters are civil, do not attack others and present cogent and honest research or experience, The Post & Email will publish them.

    One clarification is that The Post & Email has never interviewed Arpaio about the birth certificate investigation, but rather, has used other sources who do not occupy political office. If evidence later shows that they and we have been “misled,” that truth will be reported, as with anything else.

  14. Spectator   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Thank you for posting my comment. My only claim is that you and your readers have been intentionally misled by another politician who has been shown to be less than honest while testifying under oath. Keep up the good work searching for the truth.

    Thanks again for allowing opinions to be expressed.

  15. Sharon Rondeau   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    The “editor of this blog news site” has never taken a position, as you appear to claim, on Arpaio’s guilt or innocence. What most Americans seem to have forgotten is the media’s role in reporting that which happens in government rather than advocating one way or another about the issue.

    It is up to each individual reader to make his or her own decision, and the 162-page opinion is linked in the report to assist to that end.

    The fact that “Obot” comments have reached an all-time high here since the feature was reinstated several months ago appears to signify something.

  16. Spectator   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    I attended the Arpaio contempt of court hearings. I watched as the evidence was presented to the court. I saw two of Arpaio’s attorneys remove themselves for their own ethical conflicts. I saw Arpaio’s third, lead attorney get kicked to the public spectator benches for advising Arpaio’s people to say “no” to the court monitors, when the true answer was “yes,” there was additional evidence that had not been turned over to the court. Arpaio’s representation looked like a third rate comedy act. On the other hand, the Plaintiffs’ attorneys were polished and professional. Judge Snow, was professional, methodical, meticulously thorough and he carefully protected the rights of the accused. He really is a brilliant jurist. Arpaio is in the fix he is in because of his own actions and dishonesty.

    I feel bad for many of the trusting people here who have assumed that Sheriff Arpaio is being honest with you about his “ongoing” investigation of President Obama’s birth certificate. Unfortunately, if you will take the time to read the 162 pages of the findings of fact, you will be shocked about Sheriff Arpaio’s propensity to be dishonest while under oath. He, unfortunately has been less than truthful with you and your readers as well.

    I was there in court and witnessed the events unfold. While the editor of this blog news site does her best to report her understanding of the truth, she was not attending the hearings to see the dishonesty of the Defendants unfold in real time.

    Unfortunately, you’ve misplaced your faith.

  17. OPOVV   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Illegals have no Constitutional rights. The Geneva Convention affords the only “rights” they have and that’s it.
    We all profile since they day we are born and to think otherwise is to think that millions of years of evolution to hone our survival instincts/skills can be negated by legislation is horse hockey.
    It’s not necessarily true that Arpaio is a hero; it is, however, true that Judge Snow is a flaming idiot.

  18. Andrew cook   Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 2:08 AM

    I’m curious. How many readers are concerned about the violations of the 4th amendment committed by the MCSO? Most of the subscribers to this website seem to be ardent supporters of the constitutional definition of “natural born citizen.” But what about the 4th amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures? The evidence in the original case was clear. The MCSO detained people with no probable suspicion that they had committed a crime other than the color of their skin. The MCSO violated th 4th amendment. They violated the U.S. Constitution. How can you consider Arpaio to be hero?

  19. HistorianDude   Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    Sheriff Arpaio and Chief Sheridan already conceded civil contempt, there were only two issues here:

    1) To what level did the civil contempt rise? That will determine the appropriate level of civil sanctions by the court.

    2) Did the contempt actually rise to the level of criminal contempt? That will determine wither or not here should be a referral for criminal prosecutions.

    The most interesting answer is the one to question two. Since the standard for criminal contempt is that the contempt be “willful and deliberate” Judge Snow’s findings of fact repeatedly show that the contempt was criminal. He repeatedly finds not just that Sheriff Arpaio’s conduct was willful and deliberate, but on several occasions his testimony under oath was knowingly perjurious.

    Remember… these are not “accusations.” They are judicial findings of fact. Sheriff Arpaio and his top lieutenants are looking at criminal trial and the associated risk of actual jail time.

  20. OPOVV   Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    Once sanctions on truth are acceptable, the next step is to rule favorably on lies or, in the case of LTC Terry Lakin, modify (change) the law (UCMJ) to achieve any outcome one desires.
    Judge Snow is acting just as Pavlov’s dogs were trained to act: let the idea of ‘pension’ interfere with whatever integrity he ever had, if he ever had any.
    One can’t help but wonder but I will tell you this: had I brought-up Obama’s BIRTH CERTIFICATE issue in Snow’s court, we all could’ve predicted the ruling: NO STANDING.
    It’s a sad case when those who are tasked with upholding the law are in contempt for upholding the law.
    It’s even worse when those who are suppose to rule in favor of the law become patsies for a corrupt administration who are lawless.

  21. John Hargrove   Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    It was Attorney General Eric Holder, not Nancy Pelosi and a federal judge’s Contempt Order is on a whole different level from a subpoena. When a subpoena is violated, the next step is a referral for contempt.
    What has happened to Sheriff Arpaio is Obama’s revenge, plain and simple.

  22. James P. Carter   Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    Ho hum.

    Barack Obama ignored an Administrative Law Judge’s subpoena and nothing happened to him.
    Nancy Pelosi was found in Contempt of Congress and nothing happened to her.
    Hillary Clinton violated a Congressional subpoena and, thus far, nothing has happened to her.

    Ho hum.

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