Gov. Jan Brewer maintained a diplomatic tone regarding the U.S. Department of Justice’s allegations of widespread racial profiling and civil rights violations by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, saying she was keeping an eye on the situation but declining to comment on the validity of the claims.
“I’m monitoring it and I’m interested of course,” Brewer told reporters on Friday, one day after DOJ announced the findings of a three-year investigation into Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office. “I think everybody’s concern is that we don’t want anybody’s civil rights violated. That has always been a big concern to me. And I know that Sheriff Arpaio will have the opportunity to respond and we will move on from there.”
When asked whether DOJ’s allegations and scathing report surprised her, Brewer said, “I must say, nothing surprises me anymore,” but did not elaborate.
The governor also did not say whether she believed the accusations had merit or were politically motivated, as Arpaio alleged.
“I would think that it is something that we need to look at very carefully. And I think then you have to take that report and of course then you have to listen to the other side of the story. That’s where Sheriff Arpaio will step up and respond and move forward, and then we’ll have a better handle on it,” Brewer said.