PHOENIX — A 2-year-old court decision that concluded Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had racially profiled Latinos will stand as the findings of fact on one of several claims in a separate case alleging a range of alleged civil rights violations by the lawman, a judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver said her decision means the U.S. Justice Department lawyers won't have to re-litigate the already-settled allegation that Arpaio's officers had systematically profiled Latinos in their patrols. "Instead, those issues will be given 'conclusive effect' here," Silver wrote.
An Aug. 10 trial has been scheduled to settle the Justice Department's remaining allegations that Arpaio's office retaliated against its critics, punished Latino jail inmates with limited English skills for speaking Spanish and discriminated against Latinos in business raids aimed at cracking down on identity theft.
The sheriff has denied the allegations and called the Justice Department's civil rights case against him a politically motivated attack by the Obama administration.
The Justice Department's case is separate from a racial profiling lawsuit filed against Arpaio by immigrant rights advocates. The sheriff lost that case two years ago when a judge concluded his officers singled out Latinos in their regular traffic and immigration patrols.
The profiling case has sprawled into contempt-of-court proceedings against Arpaio for his acknowledged disobedience of orders from the case's judge. The contempt case has since been put on hold after Arpaio asked that the case's judge be disqualified.