By Ashley Hayes, CNN
(CNN) - In his 18 years as Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio has cut a controversial figure, gaining international notoriety for making prison inmates wear pink underwear and pink handcuffs and housing them in tents.
Rather than shy away from controversy, he has embraced it, touting his nickname of "America's Toughest Sheriff" on his website and boasting that his inmate meals are the cheapest in the nation, costing between 15 and 40 cents apiece. His cutting out salt and pepper saved taxpayers $20,000 a year, according to his biography on the sheriff's website.
Another program Arpaio began posts mugshots of all those arrested - about 300 daily - on the sheriff's website as they are booked and processed into jail, according to the biography. The site gets "just under a million hits daily," it said. He has been re-elected to five four-year terms as sheriff since taking office in 1993.
On Thursday, the Justice Department said it had found cause to believe the sheriff's office "has engaged in a pattern of misconduct that violates the Constitution and federal law." Among its findings were that the sheriff's department - under the leadership of Arpaio, an outspoken critic of illegal immigration - discriminates against Latinos through traffic stops, detentions and arrests and also punishes Latino inmates with limited English proficiency by punishing them and denying them critical services, the Justice Department said.