The FBI is mum on whether it is investigating the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson would neither confirm or deny a federal inquiry into the MCSO and hard-nosed Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Critics of the sheriff have been pressing the Barack Obama administration, and the FBI and U.S. Justice Department to look at the MCSO’s tactics when it comes to immigration, political opponents and other matters. They would also like to see abuse of power inquiries related to the Sheriff’s Office.
USDOJ already has a civil rights investigation into Arpaio’s immigration and crime sweeps and whether they unfairly target Hispanics. That investigation lacks subpoena, grand jury or other powers.
Sources familiar with the matter say the FBI has been talking to parties in the Phoenix area regarding the MCSO.
Arpaio defends his immigration raids, denies wrongdoing and argues the inquiries and push for inquires are perpetuated by his critics and opponents. Some of the MCSO raids have occurred at businesses suspected of hiring illegal immigrants.