Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio to defend reputation at criminal trial

Arpaio could face up to six months in jail if found guilty.

PHOENIX (AP) — Joe Arpaio will go to court Monday to defend his reputation at a trial where the former longtime sheriff of metro Phoenix is charged with disobeying a judge’s order.

The 85-year-old who called himself America’s toughest sheriff is charged with criminal contempt-of-court for defying a judge’s order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. His critics hope the trial starting Monday will bring a long-awaited comeuppance for the lawman who led crackdowns that divided immigrant families and escaped accountability when he flouted the rules.

One of his attorneys says Arpaio was charged with a crime for cooperating with federal immigration authorities. Arpaio could face up to six months in jail, though lawyers who have followed his case doubt he would get locked up if convicted.