Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times

Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times
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Former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday evening filed a libel suit against The New York Times and a member of its editorial board, Politico reported

Arpaio is seeking is seeking $147.5 million in damages over a Times op-ed by Michelle Cottle titled "Well, at Least Sheriff Joe Isn’t Going to Congress." 

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In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Arpaio says the piece contains "several false, defamatory factual assertions." 

He claims the article was “carefully and maliciously calculated to damage and injure” his reputation, Politico reported.

Cottle in the piece says Arpaio's 24-year run as sheriff was "medieval in its brutality," accusing him of "terrorizing immigrant neighborhoods with gratuitous raids and traffic stops and detentions."

All of the accounts in Cottle's piece have been previously reported, including stories about prisoners in jails overseen by Arpaio being beaten, mistreated and forced into humiliating circumstances. 

Arpaio, who called himself "America's toughest sheriff," was convicted of criminal contempt by a federal court in 2017. President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE pardoned him before he could be sentenced.

Arpaio then ran an unsuccessful bid for Senate in Arizona. He was beat out by Republican Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyLobbying world Senate roundtable showcases importance and needs of women entrepreneurs GOP braces for Democratic spending onslaught in battle for Senate MORE

The controversial former sheriff is represented by Larry Klayman, the chairman of the conservative watchdog group Freedom Watch.

Arpaio has been accused of police misconduct, including abuse of power, unlawful enforcement of immigration laws and failure to investigate sex crimes. He has been the subject of multiple federal civil rights lawsuits.