Feathered Bastard

Noose Tightens Around Arpaio's Neck as He Channels Ronnie Reagan in Day Two of Contempt Trial

Think To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch doing Jedi mind tricks on an addled Emperor Palpatine.

That's what Stanley Young, the plaintiffs' lead attorney in the ACLU's big civil rights case Melendres v. Arpaio, resembled as he interrogated Sheriff Joe Wednesday afternoon during day two of Joe's civil contempt trial before federal Judge G. Murray Snow.

A veteran litigator with the Silicon Valley arm of Covington and Burling, which has partnered with the ACLU in this suit, Young began his examination of Arpaio by first having the sheriff acknowledge that he had violated the orders of the court, asking the pseudo-lawman to agree that all 21 facts both he and his Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan stipulated to in a March admission of guilt were true.

This Arpaio did, while leaving himself some wiggle room.

"With the caveat that I'm the leader of this office and take the responsibility," he said.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons