Sheriff Arpaio Won't Accept Justice Department Monitor in Racial-Profiling Case; Negotiations Stalled

Negotiations between Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the U.S. Justice Department over racial-profiling allegations have stalled because of Arpaio's refusal to let a federal "monitor" check out his office.

The feds announced in December that the Maricopa County Sheriff was behind the worst case of racial profiling in U.S. history, and the two entities have been discussing how to resolve the problem.

Those talks broke down, however, after Arpaio demanded today that he wouldn't put up with no stinkin' federal monitor overseeing his decisions. The Justice Department says that "precondition" means talks about an agreement to resolve the discrimination under Arpaio's watch could be terminated.

Clearly, the wrist-slappers over at the Justice Department had fooled themselves into thinking Arpaio would play nice. They must not have read New Times' January article by Michael Lacey, Village Voice Media Executive Editor, entitled "Coddling Joe: How Do You Collaborate With a Felon?"

Arpaio, who has been busy lately trying to prove that President Obama is really a natural-born African, says he and his office don't discriminate against Hispanics.

The sheriff claims in a new release this afternoon that he will not "surrender my office to the federal government."

Arpaio claims that a federally appointed monitor would have to approve "every policy decision, every operation..." of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, which would nullify his power.

We're not sure that's accurate. But if it is, imagine the potential humiliation involved if the monitor failed to approve all of Arpaio's document-shredding sessions, illegal-immigrant roundups, jail-tax-fund raids, campaign tricks and bogus search warrants. No wonder he's ticked.

What do you think -- will the feds cave to Arpaio's demands, or will they sue to install the monitor over the sheriff's protests?