The last time we heard from Sheriff Joe, the Arizona law enforcement official famous for his “Ahab-like pursuit of undocumented immigrants” and theatrics like rolling tanks and machine guns into Hispanic-heavy neighborhoods, investigators had just discovered that Arpaio misspent nearly $100 million in taxpayer dollars to fund enforcement operations (like these famously outlandish immigration sweeps). That discovery came out of the second of two federal investigations against Arpaio that have been underway since 2008. The first was an inquiry into whether the Sheriff had engaged in racial profiling practices, abusing his powers and violating civil rights.
Discovering that he was diverting funds for prison upkeep into his special budget for immigration patrols explains how Arpaio was paying for his raids. How was he finding the time for them? Apparently by ignoring every other law enforcement priority, including investigations of sexual assault and other crimes.
ABC 12 News in Arizona today reports that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) failed to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crime cases over a two-year period, many of which involved children from 2 to 16 years old.