Trump pardon won’t remove sheriff Joe Arpaio’s guilty verdict

Joe Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court in 2017.
Joe Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court in 2017.Associated Press

Joe Arpaio, once known as “America’s toughest sheriff,” failed to persuade a federal appeals court to wipe clean his criminal record after President Trump pardoned him.

The US Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Thursday refused a request by the former top lawman in Maricopa County, Ariz., to erase his guilty verdict for defying a judge’s orders related to his crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

Arpaio made a name for himself targeting Latinos in the Phoenix area with traffic stops only on the suspicion they were undocumented immigrants. In 2017, a federal judge convicted him of criminal contempt of court for violating orders to stop the illegal detentions. Before he could be sentenced, however, Trump stepped in and granted a pardon.


The pardon was found by a judge to be valid, but Arpaio fought on to try to get his offense expunged from court records.