For decades the sheriff was a popular and unapologetic immigration enforcer, but as Arizona’s electorate changed not even a pardon could redeem him
Late August 2017 was supposed to be a celebratory time for Joe Arpaio. The former Maricopa county sheriff had just received Donald Trump’s first presidential pardon after being found guilty of criminal contempt of court.
The pardon meant Arpaio was spared a criminal sentence for a federal misdemeanor that could have included up to six months in prison. At a family dinner at a local restaurant the night he received it, he was barely able to touch his linguine with clams and calamari – he had been too busy fielding congratulatory phone calls and media inquiries.