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 TrumpThe Memo: Ayers decision casts harsh light on Trump NASA offers to show Stephen Curry evidence from moon landings Freedom Caucus calls on leadership to include wall funding, end to 'catch and release' in funding bill 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 McSallyMaine’s 2nd District outcome proves value of ranked choice voting Arizona airport says Trump campaign owes K from October rally The 5 most competitive Senate races of 2020 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.