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Arpaio protesters walk out of Maricopa board meeting

Opponents of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio stormed out of the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.  The group wanted to participate in the special meeting that addressed the problems reported in a federal probe against sheriff’s office.

Every seat in the county board auditorium was filled with opponents and supporters of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  They were there to hear County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s briefing Justice Department’s investigation into the sheriff’s office. Federal investigators found a pattern of discrimination and racial profiling against Hispanics. 

“I'm not going to advocate for the Department of Justice’s position. I’m not gonna argue against it,” Montgomery said. “I need to see the information so that I can do my job as the county attorney and independently assess it.”

 Community organizers said they were told they could question officials during the briefing.  But that didn’t happen. Chad Snow is with the Citizens for a Better Arizona and one of the individuals who walked out of the meeting.

“Bill Montgomery stood before us in here and said criminal acts, I wrote it down, he said if you break the law in Maricopa county you will be held to account.  We’re not able to ask Bill Montgomery what have you done to hold these people to account,” said Snow, standing outside the Maricopa County building.

 County officials say a meeting between the DOJ and the Sheriff’s office is scheduled next week.  If the two sides do not agree on how to resolve the complaints, DOJ could sue the sheriff’s office.