A former Maricopa County law enforcement official sued a New York newspaper on Tuesday, claiming the paper libeled him when it printed verifiable facts about his career.
The publicity-obsessed cop, who came in dead-last in a three-way GOP primary election for national office this year, believes the newspaper intentionally damaged his chances to win a race for the same office in 2020. He believes that damage is worth $147 million, more than double the amount his racial profiling cost the county over nearly a quarter century.
The cop's lawsuit, filed by a conservative law firm, quotes a passage from an accurate column describing acts he oversaw, including racial profiling, "gratuitous raids and traffic stops and detentions," the beating of inmates, denial of medical care, and the failure to adequately investigate hundreds of sex crimes cases.
The lawsuit describes the passage as "false and defamatory," but does not specify any inaccuracies. The lawsuit quotes a second accurate passage noting that the cop's refusal to stop racial profiling led to criminal conviction on a misdemeanor charge of contempt of court that was later pardoned by the publicity-obsessed President of the United States.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The cop claims that the passage, which contains widely-publicized facts about him, portrays him in a "false light" and damaged his reputation within the Republican Party.
Published the day after the cop's humiliating defeat in the August primary, the opinion column expresses relief that a criminally-charged racial profiler will not be exalted to national office.
"Cast aside and left to wallow in the knowledge that his moment has passed, he has a fitting end to the public life of a true American villain," the column states.
The cop's lawsuit was filed around the same time he attended a political rally for a Nevada pimp who died in his sleep hours after celebrating a birthday.