As a (very) public figure, Arpaio has a higher legal burden to prove defamation than does an ordinary citizen. Arpaio will have to be able to prove "actual malice" for his lawsuit against the NY Times (or, the potential suit vs. RS) to go anywhere.)
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his attorney are serving the New York Times with their defamation lawsuit today, and sighted their second media target today.
Rolling Stone published an article this afternoon about Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's apparent victory in Arizona's U.S. Senate election. In it, the article notes that Rep. Martha McSally had beaten Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio in the August primary; Ward was described as a "tea party conspiracist" and Arpaio was touted as both the former Sheriff and an "ex-felon."
This grabbed the former lawman, who immediately tweeted that he "was never arrested or charged with a felony." He calls the Rolling Stone description "completely, misleading, defamatory statements by Rolling Stone is calculated to harm his reputation. Fake news, Already suing large newspaper for 147.5 mil. (all, sic)"
Of course, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of a Court Order for his role in the racial profiling lawsuit Melendres v. Arpaio. The conviction carried a maximum 6-month jail, and was thus considered to be a misdemeanor. Arpaio was pardoned by President Donald Trump before sentencing, and the former Sheriff is currently trying to expunge that finding of guilt. (It is in the 9th Circuit, and the Arpaio legal team is appealing the appointment of a special prosecutor to the U.S. Supreme Court.)Rolling Stone says Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a ex-felon. Arpaio was never arrested or charged with a felony. Arpaio says the completely, misleading, defamatory statements by Rolling Stone is calculated to harm his reputation. Fake news, Already suing large newspaper for 147.5 mil.— Sheriff Joe Arpaio (@RealSheriffJoe) November 13, 2018
Last month, Arpaio and his attorney Larry Klayman did file a $147.5M defamation lawsuit against the New York Times and columnist Michelle Cottle. Cottle celebrated Arpaio's defeat in the primary and compared Maricopa County jails under Arpaio to "concentration camps". As a (very) public figure, Arpaio has a higher legal burden to prove defamation than does an ordinary citizen. Arpaio will have to be able to prove "actual malice" for his lawsuit against the NY Times (or, the potential suit vs. RS) to go anywhere.
Klayman told Arizona's Politics today that the "ex-felon" descriptor is also defamatory. He declined to indicate whether he had already discussed this article with Arpaio, and said that "the New York Times is being served today." He also promised that things "will heat up soon."
If you would like to show your appreciation for Arizona's Politics reporting, please consider donating to our pool to support OTHER journalism-related nonprofits. http://bit.ly/AZpDonate
We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.