The Justice Department has written a very pointed letter to a lawyer for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, telling him that they’ll sue Maricopa County Sheriffs Office very soon unless they go forward with negotiations to settle issues regarding the office’s alleged pattern of civil rights abuses.
DOJ and MCSO officials are supposed to meet on Feb. 6, but Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin wrote in a letter to Arpaio’s lawyer on Thursday that if the purpose of the meeting “is solely for you to tell us in person that you do not agree with our findings, there is no reason for us to meet.”
An extensive investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division found that Arpaio had “promoted a culture of bias” within MCSO. Arpaio’s team has been disputing their findings and Arpaio has said the probe is all just part of the Obama administration’s re-election bid even though the investigation began during the Bush administration.
DOJ’s letter said they were not willing to debate their findings with Apraio’s office.
“Your letter suggests an unwillingness to resolve this matter though a negotiated settlement — a position which makes litigation inevitable in the very near term,” Austin wrote. DOJ’s letter was in response to a letter Arpaio’s lawyer sent Wednesday which again disputed the conclusions of DOJ’s investigation.