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Kirkpatrick Calls on Arpaio to Resign Following Criminal Contempt Allegations

Laura Segall /Reuters

Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has called on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to resign immediately. It follows a recent judge’s ruling that the sheriff may have committed criminal contempt of court. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Kirkpatrick says Arizona can’t have a sheriff in office who breaks the law and abuses the public’s trust. A federal judge asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office last week to look into prosecuting Arpaio. He’s accused of ignoring court orders to stop racially profiling Latinos during traffic stops and immigration patrols. The referral means the sheriff could face fines or jail time if found guilty.

The Republican sheriff is seeking reelection after more than two decades on the job. A representative with his campaign says Arpaio won’t resign and the allegations against him are baseless. 

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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