Hearing Set In Bid To Void Critical Ruling In Arpaio's Case

Aug 30, 2017

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Credit Gage Skidmore

The judge who presided over former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's criminal trial said Tuesday that she can't rule on the now-pardoned lawman's bid to throw out her ruling explaining his guilty verdict until prosecutors are given a chance to chime in on the request.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton scheduled an Oct. 4 hearing for lawyers on both sides to argue over the request to throw out the detailed ruling that explained how Bolton found Arpaio guilty of contempt of court.

President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio on Friday for his misdemeanor conviction for intentionally disobeying another federal judge's 2011 order to stop his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

Arpaio acknowledged prolonging the patrols, but he insisted his disobedience wasn't intentional. He also blamed one of his former attorneys for not adequately explaining the importance of the order.

He is asking Bolton to formally void the conviction that Trump has already pardoned and went further in asking her to throw out the 14-page decision.

In the ruling, the judge cited TV interviews and news releases in which the sheriff made comments made about keeping up the patrols, even though he knew they were no longer allowed.

An attorney for the lawman has said the filing is aimed at clearing his name and barring its use in future court cases as an example of a prior bad act.

Bolton, who has called off Arpaio's sentencing hearing as part of the pardon, said she can't rule on Arpaio's request without first letting prosecutors express their views.

Since the pardon, Arpaio has said he didn't do anything wrong and criticized Bolton as biased, though he declined to say how he thought she was unfair to him.

Arpaio, who was defeated in the same election that sent Trump to the White House, is now talking about getting back into politics.