Joe Arpaio doesn’t shy away from controversy and isn’t averse to causing a little mayhem. The latest incident may be even bigger than just whether or not he did wrong as he’s considering running for a Senate seat. The source of his troubles: the son of the man he may hope to replace, Senator Jeff Flake.
In 2014, Arpaio’s Sheriff’s Department looked into Austin Flake’s and his wife’s involvement in the deaths of 21 dogs. It was in a kennel operated by his in-laws. The Flakes were watching the dogs while the proprietors of the kennel were out of town.
Their deaths were due to an air conditioning unit that failed in a small room where the dogs spent the nights. Based on this information, the case against the Flakes was dismissed.
The lawsuit they’ve filed against Arpaio says they were targeted for political reasons to embarrass the Senator. They were put under surveillance and every effort was made to prove they were to blame for the deaths. The lawsuit goes to trial December 5.
Sen. Jeff Flake was a vocal opponent of Arpaio’s handling of immigration issues in Maricopa County, the couple’s legal team said.
Arpaio and Jeffrey Leonard, an attorney representing the county and the former sheriff, declined to comment to the AP on the matter.
The couple previously sought $4 million in a notice of claim document for the suit, according to the AP.