Romley responded Wednesday by slamming Thomas’ administration for not requiring the sheriff to provide enough evidence to go to trial, instead hoping that those charged would just plead guilty.
His ethical obligation as a prosecutor requires that, he said.
“With a case such as that, to prove that case in trial you have to have certified copies from (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) that these people were here illegally,” Romley said. “The county attorney’s office never required that (of the sheriff’s office) in the past. Never required it of them. It was sloppy work, it was a lazy person’s work.”
Thomas said Romley was abandoning a proven method of prosecuting illegal immigrants and making sure they don’t come back once they’re deported.
“We have won, at great costs, the ability to prosecute these people and make sure they have a felony conviction,” Thomas said. “And we have lost that.”
On enforcing Senate Bill 1070, Romley said he would work with county attorneys in the state’s 14 other counties to create a standard procedure for prosecutions under the law.
He said one of the elements he will push is for a full police report, to be required for each arrest, so that the reasons for the original stop are apparent.
On misdemeanors, often a police officer just writes a citation similar to a traffic ticket.
“It will eliminate hopefully some level of allegations of racial profiling,” Romley said. “More is better in this case.”