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Sheriff Joe Arpaio is back in the news.
The Justice Department on Thursday is set to formally sue the headline-generating Arizona sheriff for civil rights violations in connection with alleged racial profiling of Latinos by his police department. Federal authorities broadcast their intent Wednesday and the Arizona Republic reports that they'll make it official sometime Thursday.
As the Associated Press explains, a Justice Department investigation into Arpaio's office in December detailed what authorities described as the racial profiling of Latinos, and widespread discrimination against Maricopa County's Hispanic residents. The county is the most populous in the state, and includes Phoenix.
Based on those findings, the government sought to negotiate a resolution with Arpaio, but those talks broke down after the sheriff refused to accept a court-appointed monitor to oversee DOJ-mandated changes to his office, the Republic reports. Arpaio's office released a reform plan of its own Wednesday, including the installation of a monitor with diminished authority, in an apparent attempt to minimize fallout from the impending suit.
Arpaio, who has attempted to brand himself the toughest sheriff in America, has managed to find himself in the headlines repeatedly of late. In March he released the results of his "cold case posse" investigation of President Obama's birth certificate. He also recently reopened more than 400 sex crime cases that his office mismanaged from 2004 to 2008, and is being investigated by a federal grand jury for abuse of power allegations related to this anti-public corruption squad.