Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio still getting help paying for criminal defense team

Posted at 7:49 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 22:51:28-04

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is getting major financial help to pay his criminal defense team.

Thousands of people across America still believe in Sheriff Joe, even as the 85-year old former lawman faces a criminal contempt-of-court trial. 

"Joe is an icon; he's a law enforcement icon," said James Fotis who runs the National Center for Police Defense, a Virginia-based non-profit group created two years ago.

Fotis spearheaded a campaign that's raised $300,000 for Arpaio's criminal defense.

"Every letter goes to an individual," Fotis said. "Some people get five dollars; some people give a dollar; some will give a thousand."

Fotis says his group has helped other troubled cops, including Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO, Betty Shelby in Tulsa, OK, and Anthony Federico in Long Island, NY.  Fotis blames politics.

"There was a war on cops during the Obama administration," Fotis said. "More and more police officers who were doing their job are being targeted more, and more are ending up in court."