Phoenix – Julie Gunnigle, candidate for Maricopa County Attorney, released the following statement regarding former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reelection announcement:
“Joe Arpaio’s legacy is rooted in xenophobia and bigotry. He has wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars on legal defense fees for his own racial intolerance. We can not allow his reelection,” says Gunnigle. “His history of racial profiling and discriminatory policies is a stain on this state’s history. Maricopa County deserves better.”
Arpaio, who lost re-election in 2016 to Democrat Paul Penzone, was a vocal proponent of the racist birther movement against Barack Obama. In 2017, he was convicted of criminal contempt for his refusal to stop detaining Latinx people on racially discriminatory grounds, violating their constitutional rights. “We can not send Maricopa County back decades by electing a Sheriff who would rather go to jail than stop enforcing his own racist and xenophobic policies. A Sheriff is supposed to uphold the law, not violate it repeatedly. Furthermore, a convicted riminal should not be in charge of our county’s criminal justice system,” adds Gunnigle.
“Regardless of who serves as Sheriff – we need someone in the County Attorney’s seat who can and will be a check against this office. We need to work to ensure that we reform our criminal justice system. By finding alternatives to the prosecution of low-level marijuana violations, we can invest resources in sentencing reform and fund diversion programs that improve conditions for our young adults. We need to end cash bail and racial profiling while focusing on prosecuting violent offenders who prey on women, children, and seniors. As County Attorney, I will check our Sheriff daily to make sure we truly reform Maricopa County,” continued Gunnigle.
About Julie Gunnigle
As a former Professor of Law, a current solo practitioner, a mother of three, and former prosecutor of financial crime and public corruption – Julie Gunnigle understands the complexity of our criminal justice system. Julie is running to transform the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office into an institution that is tough, smart, and fair.