In the statement DOJ issued to WND, DOJ characterized Austin’s apology rather than deny that an apology had been made.
“Regarding your question on Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin, he apologized if [MCSO's] feelings were hurt by the public release of the findings, but he informed them that the Civil Rights Division always publicly releases the findings of its law enforcement investigations because it is absolutely crucial to tell the people in the relevant community what was found so that the community is a part of any necessary reform,” DOJ spokeswoman Xochita Hinojosa wrote to WND in an email.
DOJ refuses to show proof
The DOJ statement issued today makes clear it considers the complaints proved as alleged and sees no reason to provide the evidence to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office or the public.
“The Justice Department looks forward to sitting down with MCSO in the near future to discuss a path forward that contains a court enforceable agreement that will create the necessary sustainable reforms,” the DOJ statement began, indicating clearly the Obama administration has already judged Arpaio and the MCSO guilty.
As far as the DOJ is concerned, the only thing left to discuss is how fast Arpaio and his sheriff’s office intends to comply with DOJ demands.
“Our findings show a clear violation of the Constitution and federal law, and are more than sufficient to file a complaint against a law enforcement agency,” the DOJ statement concluded.
Discovery to compel DOJ to show its hand
Arpaio and the attorneys representing the MCSO remain confident that DOJ will not be able for long to avoid making public their evidence.
Since the DOJ and Arpaio’s office appear headed directly to federal court, the court proceedings can be expected to allow MCSO discovery – a legal process in which the federal judge will order DOJ to turn over to the MCSO all evidence obtained to substantiate the allegations of systematic civil rights violations.
Popolizo’s cover letter indicates that the MCSO anticipated DOJ might refuse to make its evidence public.
“We sincerely hope that the DOJ’s recent public stance regarding its refusal to disclose information relevant to this investigation, which starkly contrasts its private, yet deficient pledge to provide at least some information, is not the foreshadowing of a preordained, DOJ decision to file suit in the face of the MCSO’s mere request for information,” Popolizo wrote.
“Please know, however, that we stand ready to litigate this matter should the DOJ refuse to provide the information we seek.”
Popolizo further argued that it was unreasonable for DOJ to expect MCSO to make changes in policy by proceeding “in a vacuum” absent any documenting evidence that would substantiate and quantify the severity the allegations.
“If the DOJ chooses the litigation route, that route will lead the parties through discovery and result in the DOJ’s compelled provision of the information we now request to evaluate its findings and determine what changes at the MCSO may be necessary, if any,” Popolizo continued.
In total, the MCSO 38-page response made 106 specific requests for evidence backing up the allegations.
Typically, the attorneys representing the MCSO began each of the 106 requests with a broadly written demand, asking, for instance: “Please provide each and every fact, document, report, statement (recorded, handwritten, or typewritten), affidavits, writings of any kind, and any and all evidence upon which the DOJ relies.”
Attorneys representing the MCSO can be expected to make requests of this kind when asking the federal judge hearing the case for discovery rights.