Arpaio said his mission is to "Make Maricopa County Safe Again" and that he intends to “reopen Tent City Jail and bring back his popular jail policies" and "reinstitute the Posse to its former strength.” Arpaio previously had described his Tent City as a "concentration camp." Under his reign, prisoners hung themselves at an alarming rate, a guard broke a paralyzed inmate's neck for daring to ask for a catheter, and his deputies set a puppy on fire in a botched raid. One of his beloved "Posse" members was arrested on child pornography charges.
Besides, Maricopa County wasn't very safe while he was sheriff, since hundreds of sex abuse cases went uninvestigated on his watch. Apparently, Arpaio felt it was a better use of resources to send a deputy to Hawaii to look for Barack Obama's birth certificate.
As Arpaio makes his unwelcome return, here's the rundown on what he's been up to since losing the last sheriff's race.
1. A federal judge found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt of court for ignoring orders to stop racially profiling Latinos:
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton ruled Monday [July 31, 2017] that the scion of conservative Arizona politics deliberately violated a court order stemming from a class-action civil rights lawsuit.
A four-day trial in June hinged on the wording of the court order U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow issued on Dec. 23, 2011. In that order, Snow told MCSO to stop detaining illegal immigrants unless deputies had probable cause they broke state laws unrelated to immigration.
“Not only did defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise,” Bolton wrote in her verdict, released Monday.
“The evidence shows a flagrant disregard for Judge Snow’s order,” Bolton concluded.
2. But Trump pardoned him for it:
President Donald J. Trump granted a pardon to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the White House announced late Friday [August 25, 2017].
The announcement cited Arpaio's "selfless public service" and "his life's work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration."
In a tweet, Arpaio said he was "humbled and incredibly grateful to President Trump. I look forward to putting this chapter of my life behind me and helping to #MAGA."
3. He wrote the forward of actor Steven Seagal's The Way of the Shadow Wolves: The Deep State and the Hijacking of America:
In an interview last week, Arpaio said he hasn't gotten around to reading Seagal's book. This is a little bit confusing — in his foreword, the former sheriff makes it seem like he’s very familiar with its contents.
"I strongly identify with this book because in many ways I lived what is portrayed on its pages," Arpaio writes.
Seagal joined Arpaio's volunteer "posse" after the actor had left the set of a reality show in Louisiana, where Seagal play-acted a similar law enforcement role. In a lawsuit, an executive assistant on the show said Seagal sexually assaulted her. After he joined Arpaio's team, in 2011 while the cameras were rolling, Seagal and Arpaio's deputies crashed an armored tank into a man's home, according to another lawsuit. The homeowner also said Seagal's raid killed their dog.
4. He decided to run for U.S. Senate:
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Arizona's most prominent proponent of racial profiling, told the conservative Washington Examiner this morning [January 9, 2018] that he's planning to run for Senator Jeff Flake's seat in 2018.
He confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, "I am running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Arizona, for one unwavering reason: to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission to Make America Great Again."
5. And failed miserably:
The Associated Press projects that Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally and Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema will win their primary races for Arizona's U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Jeff Flake.
This morning [August 28, 2018] McSally had more than 53 percent of the vote, to only 28 percent for Dr. Kelli Ward and a mere 19 percent for former sheriff Joe Arpaio. In the Democratic primary, Sinema easily clinched the nomination with more than 80 percent of the vote in her battle against attorney and activist Deedra Abboud.
Arpaio's zombie-like campaign appeared to be one more publicity stunt from the former sheriff, an infamous media hound. From the very beginning, Arpaio trailed McSally and Ward in every poll.
6. He filmed a video with former cult member Michael the Black Man:
Former sheriff Joe Arpaio filmed a video at the U.S.-Mexico border with a former Florida cult member who goes by the name Michael the Black Man.
In the video ... Michael has his arm around Arpaio as the ousted former sheriff promotes his improbable race for Arizona's open Senate seat during a visit to the border fence in Naco, Arizona.
Michael was a follower of the Yahweh ben Yahweh cult, a black-supremacist religious sect in Florida. In 1990, the feds charged Michael and over a dozen fellow cult members with conspiracy related to brutal murders in Florida.
7. He claimed the Mexican cartel put a hit on him:
The tweet said his campaign had arranged for a security detail to take him "into Mexico to meet with officials; however, security personnel was alerted that if we entered with Arpaio, we wouldn't be walking out. Cartel and local Mexico police sent out contract hits on Joe Arpaio. Arpaio's objective was a 'good faith & will' attempt to begin rebuilding relationships. Arpaio is adamant to open a U.S. Senate office at the U.S./Mexico border at Nogales."
8. He got tricked by Sacha Baron Cohen into saying he'd accept a blowjob from Donald Trump:
Sacha Baron Cohen's Showtime series Who Is America? can now add ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio to its laundry list of politicians – and regular folk – it has excruciatingly embarrassed.
On the new show's fourth episode, Arpaio was interviewed by one of Cohen's new characters, OMGWhizzBoyOMG, a Finnish man in a flower shirt with red hair. Cohen, in character, asks, "If Donald Trump calls you up after this and says 'Sheriff Joe, I want to offer you an amazing blowjob, would you say yes?'" To which Arpaio replies, "I may have to say yes."
9. He then told Phoenix New Times he was "duped" and would not, in fact, accept a blowjob from Donald Trump:
On Monday [August 6, 2018], Arpaio tells Phoenix New Times that he "never agreed" to consider oral sex with Trump. He seemed to be unaware of news coverage about his statements to Cohen. Phoenix New Times informed him that a transcript of the back-and-forth with Cohen, and especially the part about a sex act, had become the headline in news outlets across the country.
"I didn't even know what he was talking about," Arpaio said. "I couldn't even hear what the hell he was saying ... He had a bad accent. He was twisting things around."
And what about the talk of "golden showers?"
"He mentioned Trump and gold — I thought he was talking about a gold shower," Arpaio explained.
He also wasn't savvy enough to realize what Cohen meant by "handjobs."
"We were talking about illegals and working with your hands!" Arpaio said.