Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Arpaio Lieutenant Contradicts|Testimony of Sheriff’s Ex-Attorney

PHOENIX (CN) - A lieutenant facing contempt of court charges along with Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Friday denied that Arpaio's attorney gave him feedback on how to teach deputies to make constitutional traffic stops - though the attorney testified last week that he did so.

Lt. Joe Sousa faces civil contempt charges along with Arpaio and three other of his current and former aides for failing to deliver data to the court or to train deputies how to make constitutional traffic stops.

Sousa testified Friday that sheriff's Sgt. Brett Palmer was to write a number of training scenarios to show deputies what good and bad traffic stops look like. Palmer was to send the scenarios to Sousa, who said he emailed them to Arpaio's former attorney, Tim Casey.

"He's an attorney who can interpret what we write," Sousa said.

Despite sending repeated emails to Casey, Sousa said, he never received a response.

"I'm pretty sure at the time I wanted to talk about it, I wanted to get his opinion after his initial review," Sousa said.

Casey testified last week , however, that he wanted the training scenarios to send to members of Arpaio's now-defunct Human Smuggling Unit as soon as U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow issued a preliminary injunction in response to a 2007 racial profiling class action challenging Arpaio's treatment of undocumented immigrants.

Casey testified that it was clear to him when he saw the scenarios that Palmer did not understand what Casey had told him about Judge Snow's injunction.

He said he was sure he made corrections to the scenarios, to explain them to Palmer and submit them to Arpaio's former Executive Chief Brian Sands, who also faces civil contempt charges.

Sands' attorney Greg Como, with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, asked Sousa on Friday: "There's been about 16,000 documents produced by the county since you last testified in April of 2015. Have you been shown any documents that indicated Tim Casey ever reviewed the training scenarios and provided feedback?"

"I've not seen any, sir," Sousa responded.

Cecillia Wang, an attorney for plaintiffs with the ACLU Immigrant Rights' Project, challenged Sousa's memory of the events,

Wang asked if it was true that he "suffered from memory lapses due to the great workload ... [and] relied on written notes and to-do lists during that time."

Sousa confirmed that.

Wang quizzed Sousa about saying in a deposition that he did not recall whether Casey had responded to the training scenarios.

Sousa said he has changed his mind.

"I came to the conclusion that there's no way that conversation ever happened, based on his testimony," Sousa said.

He added that Casey's explanation that deputies should "arrest or release" undocumented immigrants was so "simple" he would have remembered it.

Arpaio testified on Thursday , after failing in efforts to recuse Judge Snow and to limit testimony in the contempt hearing , which continues Tuesday.

Follow @jamierossCNS
Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.