'Vindictive and headline-hungry' Arpaio costs Maricopa County $775,000 in settlement
Source: Arizona Republic
Maricopa County on Friday agreed to pay $775,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Chandler police officer Thomas Lovejoy, who claimed he was wrongfully arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio related to the 2007 death of Lovejoy's K-9 partner, Bandit.
While Lovejoy admitted he was "tragically negligent" in leaving the police dog unattended for several hours in his patrol SUV, his attorney argued a "vindictive and headline-hungry" Arpaio pushed for criminal prosecution despite lacking "a shred of evidence," according to court documents.
A criminal prosecution would have required evidence showing Lovejoy intended to harm the dog, Lovejoy's attorney Michael Manning contended. But Arpaio insisted on bringing charges against Lovejoy to create a public example, Manning said.
A justice of the peace in the San Tan Justice Court in Chandler acquitted Lovejoy of animal abuse in August 2008.