Snow has been overseeing a sprawling racial-profiling lawsuit winding its way through the courts for several years. Snow determined in 2013 that Arpaio’s office systematically racially profiled Latinos during traffic stops then called this week’s contempt-of-court hearing after Arpaio defied his orders to stop carrying out immigration patrols.
Arpaio’s office has a history of investigating his opponents. Two elected county supervisors and a judge were among those investigated and charged with crimes in the past decade after feuding with the sheriff’s office.
The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the sheriff to look into abuse-of-power allegations over the political feuds.
The self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” came under sharp questioning earlier in the day over his TV interviews, press releases and campaign fundraising, as lawyers sought to use Arpaio’s own words against him in proving that he willfully defied a judge’s orders to stop carrying out his signature immigration patrols.