Federal Judge Dismisses Case Against Arpaio
A federal judge has officially dismissed the case against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Judge Susan Bolton began the hearing by saying she would accept the pardon from President Trump as valid.
Judge Bolton said the pardon does not interfere with the rights of the private litigants in the Melendres civil case.
"This pardon in this criminal contempt case has the effect of allowing Defendant Arpaio to escape punishment for his local violation of the preliminary injunction in Melendres," Bolton said.
Several outside legal groups had asked her to challenge the legitimacy of the pardon and even allow them to hire private counsel to pursue additional charges against Arpaio.
She rejected all of those motions.
Bolton then asked attorneys if they believed she should enter any other orders than the order of dismissal.
Arpaio’s defense attorney Jack Wilenchik asked the judge to go further and vacate or undo all of the orders issued in the case. “Because he will never have the chance to appeal all the decisions in the case and he otherwise would have," Wilenchik said. "He otherwise would have appealed for a jury he otherwise would have appealed to have another trial.”
Federal prosecutors agreed that all orders should be vacated but they asked specifically that the guilty verdict be thrown out, calling it “less about equity and more about administration and good housekeeping.”
Judge Bolton dismissed the case and said she would take the motions to vacate the guilty verdict under advisement.