The Justice Department sued the nation's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" on Thursday, calling Joe Arpaio's defiance of an investigation into his office's alleged discrimination against Hispanics "unprecedented."
Arpaio said he provided "hundreds of thousands" of reports but hasn't turned over others because the department's request was too broad.
Looking into the issue further, this is not about being a tough Sheriff and enforcing the laws. This is about Sheriff Arpaio signing a contract with the Feds to get money. About 5% of Sheriff Arpaio's budget comes from the Feds through a contract with strings attached. The contract says the Sheriff must provide information.
Last year, the nearly $113 million that Maricopa County received from the federal government accounted for about 5 percent of the county's $2 billion budget. The lawsuit listed $16.5 million of funding provided Arpaio's office through several programs.
If Sheriff Arpaio wants to stand up to the Feds, he will their money and the contract that goes with the money.