A federal judge on Wednesday upheld President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
“I’m happy the conviction was dismissed, especially since I am not guilty, and I will be addressing that issue in the near future. It took me 85 years to find my hero and it’s the president of the United States,” Arpaio said following the ruling.
The judge presiding in the case, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, ruled Mr. Trump’s pardon of the controversial sheriff was constitutional.
A proposed amicus brief filed in September by University of California at Berkeley law dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, retired law professor Michael Tigar and lawyer Jane Tigar argued Arpaio’s pardon violated Article II and III of the U.S. Constitution.
Arpaio, 85, had been convicted in July for willfully ignoring a 2011 court order barring Maricopa sheriff deputies from detaining Latinos without evidence a crime had been committed.
Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump on Aug. 25, while awaiting sentencing.
On July 31, Judge Bolton filed a “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,” which held Arpaio in criminal contempt of court for violating the injunction.
Bolton had weighed maintaining the conviction in mid-September, despite the president’s pardon.
In issuing her ruling Wednesday, Judge Bolton, who had originally presided over Arpaio’s case, dismissed the criminal case “with prejudice,” which prohibits the Justice Department from pursuing Mr. Arpaio legally any further.
Following Bolton’s dismissal of the criminal case against Arpaio, attorneys for the former sheriff requested she vacate his conviction and all judgments related to the 2017 conviction. Bolton is expected to issue a written ruling at a later date.
Arpaio served as sheriff of Maricopa County, which encompasses the capital city of Phoenix, for 24 years before losing reelection in 2016.
[ABA Journal] [Daily Caller] [Photo courtesy AP via Fox News]