December 16th, 2011
10:00 AM ET

'America's toughest sheriff' no stranger to controversy

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.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Showmeyerpapers

    I love sheriff joe hes a great man a fantastic leader i couldnt admire him more! How many americans has he saved from being raped kidnapped tortured or killed or robbed? God only knows. Let alone free up a job or two so an american can actually have a job in arizona. The toughest on the invasion will be the rep nominee guaranteed

    December 17, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Showmeyerpapers

    Still got my vote Mr Cain. Herman my man, my main man,the "hermanator" got the nwo scared to death . The man will allow the states to enforce the dadgum law against mehicos invasion of our lives! That would ruin everything for the nwo. Illegals must have murdered at least 250 000 americans in the last 50 years. Cant you hear their blood scream for justice from their graves? Our american brothers and sisters victims of federal ethnic cleansing! Sometimes at night i can hear a car horn stuck on as if in an accident,then another and another and so on when one goes silent the tune is carried on by others till they fill the night with the constant blare,the horrific ane sickening symphony of americans getting wiped out by illegal "hispanic" drivers, theyre wiping out entire families daily

    December 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Showmeyerpapers

    What about all the areas of our country where the standard of living is govt aid, where the american society has been utterly destroyed and unrecognizable. We once had the greatest nation on earth, now in so many places all we have is "the streets" depressed mehican varios or barrios as they are so proud to say. My once quiet street is now a mexexpressway . The clovis were here long before any mehicans or indians ever existed and they were WHITE. I say deport them all every single one of them, if theyve married americans send them along. Its time to go home and fix their rathole country and stop sucking us dry and preying on innocent americans!

    December 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Showmeyerpapers

    Not only have illegal invaders slit the throats of the working man they are responsible for 75% of the crime here in denver radioreference dot com monitor police and ems frequencies for yourself they must have killed 250000Americans in the last 50 years look at lapd online all most wanted 95% spanic. I knew newt was the s samich. I dont care if an illegal sailed with washington , REMOVE THEM! The states want the laws ENFORCED PERIOD! Theyll bankrupt EVERY STATE! LOOK AT CALIFORNIA FOR GOD SAKE! Mehico is a cultural catastrophe and our govt has helped them spread their societal ills across our great nation. We would have the highest standard of living on earth if it wasnt for the constant stranglehold on our economy due to the invasion and occupation of our soverign land. Look noone wants to break up families just be sure to get them all on the same bus with the anchor offspring seated up front. What about all the american families torn apart by the federal invasion policy in effect. The

    December 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |