The man who was Arizona’s most famous sheriff, Joe Arpaio, has been found guilty of horrid crimes. Now, his latest crime has landed him in a huge pile of trouble.
When the former Maricopa County sheriff defied a judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting immigrants. The judge charged him with a misdemeanor, but Donald Trump pardoned him.
Arpaio built a concentration style tent city for the people he arrested. He force them to “wear pink socks, underwear and flip-flops.” They survived on peanut butter and baloney sandwiches, according to, Francisco Chairez, who spent a year there.
Now, Democratic Senator Jeff Flake’s son, Austin Flake, and his former wife helped her parents out by watching a kennel owned by her parents. When the air conditioner failed, 21 dogs died from heat exhaustion.
Austin Flake’s former in-laws pled guilty after investigators discovered that they had not properly maintained the air conditioning unit. Joe Arpaio took the incident and blew it up for publicity.
Now, Austin Flake has sued the former sheriff for his handling of the charges, indicating that he did so for “publicity and political gain,” according to The New York Daily News. Senator Flake has criticized Arpaio’s approach to immigration.
The son of Senator Flake filed a malicious-prosecution lawsuit against Arpaio. The suit claimed the former sheriff made the case a felony animal cruelty charge as a way of hurting his father’s political career.
The former inmate, Chairez, told more about Arpaio’s terrible injustice. Chairez had just left a relationship that ended badly, and unfortunately, drove drunk and caused an accident that led him to a year in that hellacious camp.
Chairez said to The Washington Post:
‘The rules of the tent city were strict, arbitrary and brutally enforced. There are no newspapers allowed; Arpaio hated newspapers. The only food allowed for those of us in the work furlough program was the food in the vending machines, which was grossly overpriced.’
The temperatures in Arizona are brutal in the summer. Chairez continued:
‘During the sweltering summer, the temperature could reach 115 or 120 degrees. I was in the tents when we hit 120. It was impossible to stay cool in the oppressive heat. Everyone would strip down to their underwear. There was no cold water, only water from vending machines; and eventually, the machines would run out. People would faint; some had heat stroke. That summer, ambulances came about three times. One man died in his bed.’
Conditions in the winter were “even worse:”
‘During the winter, there were no heaters. Most jackets and heavily insulated pants weren’t allowed; they don’t want you to be comfortable.’
Austin Flake’s case pointed out that Arpaio conducted surveillance, not on the son’s home, but the senator’s house. Then he collected the senator’s phone records in an attempt to link the man to his son, the lawsuit said.
The younger Flake’s attorney, Stephen Montoya, said to the New York Daily News:
‘It splashed their names across the internet as the murderers of 21 dogs. It really ravaged them emotionally.’
When he gave his deposition, the former sheriff declined any responsibility for the malicious charges. Arpaio said:
‘I am going by what my detectives accomplished during their investigation.’
U.S.District Judge Neil Wake dismissed the lawsuit, because investigators did not have probable cause or enough evidence:
‘A fact finder could thus reasonably find that the prosecutors initially charged the Flakes based on pressure from Arpaio.’
Jeff Flake wrote a book highly critical the man sitting in the Oval Office. He has been one of the very few who has had the courage to speak publicly against Trump.
His son’s case against Arpaio will go to trial December 5.
Featured Image via Getty Images/John Moore.