Arpaio challenges DOJ to produce documentation - CBS 5 - KPHO

Arpaio challenges DOJ to produce documentation

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he'll cooperate  with the Department of Justice, but on his terms.

Wednesday was the deadline for the sheriff of Maricopa County  to respond to the federal government's findings that his office routinely intimidates and racially profiles people .

Arpaio said he's open to change as long as the Department of Justice outlines what it means by "change." Until then, he said, it's business as usual.

"This sheriff does not report to Washington D.C.," a defiant Arpaio said Wednesday.

A letter his attorneys sent to the Department of Justice today proves it.

"DOJ has been in our jails, in our tents, in my office, everywhere," Arpaio said

He's shown them his jails, and now Arpaio said it's time the DOJ shows him the findings. His attorneys criticized the DOJ, saying officials promised they wouldn't blast Arpaio to the media if he cooperated.

"Having this press conference, knowing that we've been working with justice department for at least three years ..."

In December,  the federal government accused the sheriff's office of targeting Latino drivers, treating all Latinos as if they're undocumented, refusing to accept forms written in Spanish, requiring prisoners to speak English, and using excessive force, just to name a few.

"They say its systemic in my organization. I want them to prove it," Arpaio said.

MCSO is now asking for all the notes, reports, affidavits, and witnesses upon which the DOJ bases its allegations, which the sheriff denies.

"I'm doing my job. Let the people decide," Arpaio said.

After they read the sheriff's letter, the Department of Justice gave CBS 5 News a statement, which reads in part:

"MCSO purports not to understand the underlying basis for the findings when MCSO's own actions and documents form the basis of these findings.

"If MCSO wants to debate the facts instead of fixing the problems stated in our findings, we will do so by way of formal litigation."

The sheriff's attorneys asked the DOJ to respond by Jan. 18 and to provide them with all those documents they requested by March 19.

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