Sheriff, congressman call for each other's resignation
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Congressman Raúl Grijalva battle in war of words
Arizona sheriff, congressman calls for each other's resignation Video by kgun9.com
Representative Raúl Grijalva pictured in a file image
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaking in Tucson Tuesday
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - In a war of words, a man described as “America's Toughest Sheriff” battles another man described as one of America’s most liberal lawmakers. Each is an elected official in Arizona and each is calling for the other to resign. The debate intensified Tuesday night in Tucson.
Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D, 7th district) called for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) to step down Monday in the wake of a report detailing more than 400 botched sex-crime investigations on Arpaio’s watch.
"Mr. Arpaio might love headline-grabbing crackdowns and theatrical media appearances, but when it comes to the everyday work of keeping people safe, he seems to have lost interest some time ago,” Grijalva wrote in an statement online
. “He should give the affected families a sense that justice is finally being done by taking the honorable route and resigning now."
Arpaio fired back Tuesday while speaking to more than 100 people at a Republican Party event in Tucson.
“He should resign. Not me,” he said to the crowd, which erupted in applause. “I know who this guy is--he's KGUN,” he said, pointing to the KGUN9 News crew behind the audience. “Maybe he'll put in out there because I can't get it out. I'm saying that this congressman has gone across the nation to boycott Arizona. They're ruining our economy.” Arpaio referred to a nationwide call to boycott the Grand Canyon State after the passage of SB 1070, a controversial immigration enforcement law.
Grijalva, whose district does not include Arpaio’s jurisdiction, was not available for an interview Tuesday. But his statement further explained his position: "Enforcing laws against violent crime, whatever a victim's legal status, is mandatory and not something we leave to individual communities as an open question. Selective enforcement undermines respect for our brave legal officers and is rightly not tolerated by the public."
The sheriff says the congressman has another motive. Reporter Kevin Keen asked Arpaio: “Have you seen his statement? What's your reaction?” “I saw his statement,” he replied. “It seemed to tend to indirectly talk about the illegal immigration problem when you read it. He hasn't been a big supporter of me. He's already been blasting me in the past over illegal immigration--my stand on that. I'm a little disturbed that he knows better. He's not going to get me to resign.”