PHOENIX — A judge has called an Oct. 11 scheduling hearing at the request of federal prosecutors who are considering whether to bring a criminal contempt-of-court case against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The U.S. Justice Department is mulling whether to bring a criminal contempt case against Arpaio for ignoring a 2011 order in a racial profiling case to stop his immigration patrols.
The profiling case's judge has already found Arpaio in civil contempt for violating the order and asked that prosecutors consider bringing a criminal contempt case against the lawman.
If prosecutors decline to criminally charge Arpaio, another judge who is now overseeing the contempt case can appoint an attorney to push charges if she believes it's warranted.
An attorney for the sheriff maintains Arpaio's contempt violation wasn't intentional.