Is Joe Arpaio Really "Misinformed" About Illegal Immigration Patrols?

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Brian Sands, one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputy chiefs, testified yesterday that the sheriff was sometimes "misinformed" about his crime-suppression patrols.

"Arpaio sometimes is misinformed, through no fault of his own," Sands said.

Sands claimed some of Arpaio's press releases about the saturation patrols -- specifically one press release claiming an operation was targeting day laborers -- were bogus.

So, the judge asked Sands, is the goal to just round up illegal immigrants during those patrols?

"That's not the goal or objective...but it's the results that occur," Sands said. "If people are arrested and, subsequently, they're in the country illegally, that's the end result of stopping a certain amount of people."

As our colleague Ray Stern pointed out later yesterday, Sands was singing a different tune a couple years back:

Sands, to put the statements in context, had been responding to questions by investigators about the times he had "points of conflict" with [former chief deputy Dave] Hendershott, who was fired by Arpaio (then allowed to retire) after the investigation concluded he had committed unethical and possibly illegal acts for years as Arpaio's right-hand man. Arpaio later claimed he was "duped" by Hendershott and knew nothing about his chief deputy's activities -- even though evidence showed he had near-daily briefings by Hendershott, and that Hendershott was probably just following Arpaio's orders.

Sands described one point of conflict as taking place on the 2008 saturation patrol. He claimed he "cautioned" Hendershott that "we can't do massive arrests when it comes to illegal aliens" because of the "complexity of our relationship" with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau and the 287(g) cross-training status of sheriff's deputies.

"I think (Hendershott's) issue was that he wanted to see something that would, you know, be very newsworthy out there," Sands told investigators.

That said, how "misinformed" was Arpaio?

Cast your vote below: