Joe Arpaio Faces Resignation Resolution From Phoenix Human Relations Commission
The Phoenix Human Relations Commission voted 13-0 on Monday to call for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to resign. Three members were not present and one abstained.
The resolution is nonbinding. However, the Arizona Republic reports that city officials are concerned that the vote could affect a contractual relationship with the Maricopa County Sheriff's office since the city holds all of its prisoners in county jails.
The committee's mission is to "promote respect and understanding among all groups by eliminating discrimination throughout the city of Phoenix." It is made up of 17 volunteer citizens appointed by the mayor and City Council and seeks to implement the "city's policy against discrimination."
Arpaio, 79, has said that he won't resign. He is running for re-election in 2012 for a sixth term. He has raised nearly $1.1 million from donors in the past year, with 80 percent of the donors coming from out-of-state.
The Department of Homeland Security stripped Arpaio of federal powers to verify the immigration status of jail inmates. That decision came off a blistering Justice Department report slamming his aggressive approach to immigration enforcement for civil rights violations. It accused his office of a "systematic disregard" of the Constitution and of creating a "pervasive culture of bias" against Latinos. In a separate investigation, a federal grand jury has been investigating his office over abuse of power allegations since December 2009.
Apart from his troubles with immigration enforcement, Arpaio has faced calls to resign over his office's failure to fully investigate over 400 sex-crime cases.
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