Matthew Lickona 2:29 p.m., May 24
Arizona's "Sheriff Joe" Announces Retirement, Decision to Move to Escondido
Embattled Sheriff Looking Forward to "Peace and Quiet and the Company of Fellow American Citizens."
"Finally, a place where justice is not subject to lawyerly meddling."
Just one day after the United States Justice Department issued a scathing 22-page critique of "Sheriff Joe" Arpaio's allegedly draconian practices with regard to the pursuit and handling of illegal immigrants (and other Latinos) in Maricopa County, Arizona, the 79-year-old icon announced his intention to retire from law enforcement and take up residence in the city of Escondido. "At least there," he said at a news conference this morning, "they have some interest in enforcing the law."
Arpaio's comment was taken as referring to the placement of driver's license checkpoints on Escondido thoroughfares, a practice that has been in place since 2004. Critics have long argued that the checkpoints are merely gotcha stations for the undocumented, a criticism that has led Escondido Mayor Sid Amen to reply, "Yes. And?"
However, recent events have placed the future of those checkpoints in doubt, which may explain a recent tweet emanating from Mayor Amen's Twitter feed. It read simply "@SheriffJoe: call me."