Arizona leaders react to President Trump's pardon for Arpaio

ARIZONA - Arizona leaders are sharing their thoughts on President Trump's pardon for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

On Twitter, Arpaio thanked President Trump's decision to pardon the former sheriff convicted of contempt through a series of tweets.

"Thank you @realdonaldtrump for seeing my conviction for what it is: a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department!" Arpaio said.

Governor Doug Ducey released a statement supporting the President's decision. 

"I believe Sheriff Joe deserves credit for helping to reduce crime in Maricopa County over his long career in law enforcement and public office. The president clearly has pardoning powers under the United States Constitution, and with this action, he has brought finality to this chapter in Arizona's history. Sheriff Joe is my friend, and now he, Ava and their family can move on and enjoy their retirement together," said Governor Ducey.

Dr. Kelli Ward, former Arizona State Senator, tweeted her response, "Thank you, @realDonaldTrump so glad you #pardoned @RealSheriffJoe - a patriot who did the job the Feds refused to do #StopIllegalImmigration"

Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted, " I applaud @POTUS @realDonaldTrump for his pardon of @RealSheriffJoe, bringing justice to this political witch hunt." 

City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton released a statement Friday evening. 

"Pardoning Joe Arpaio is a slap in the face to the people of Maricopa County, especially the Latino community and those he victimized as he systematically and illegally violated their civil rights. Sheriff Joe Arpaio targeted and terrorized Latino families because of the color of their skin. He was ordered by a federal judge to stop and he refused. He received a fair trial and a justifiable conviction, and there's nothing the President can do to change that awful legacy and the stain he has left on our community. This is not a proud day for Phoenix, but I'm proud that our city is moving on and moving forward from the diverseness that defined the Arpaio era. Donald Trump can ignore the rule of law, but it was our voters who removed Joe Arpaio from power," said Mayor Stanton.

Senator Jeff Flake also tweeted his thoughts, "Regarding the Arpaio pardon, I would have preferred that the President honor the judicial process and let it take its course." 

Current Maricopa Sheriff Paul Penzone released a statement and said, "The Court made its decision, the President made his, but the people had the final say in November. We are dedicated to earning trust and confidence from the community while ensuring the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office delivers exceptional law enforcement services." 

Rep. Raul Grijalva tweeted, "Joe Arpaio does not deserve a pardon. His whole life he has acted with the liberty of being above the law. Now Trump proves that right."

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