NCAA tournament postpones Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's criminal contempt trial

Posted at 2:17 PM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 21:07:53-05

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s trial is being rescheduled once again – but this time because of the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament.

On Monday, Arpaio’s trial on a criminal contempt-of-court charge was moved to April 25. He was originally slated to be tried on Dec. 6, but the date was pushed back to April 4 last month because his lawyers needed more to prepare a defense.

According to court documents, the trial is being delayed again because the basketball tournament is being held in Phoenix from April 1-3. Due to the timing, the tournament would create issues with hotel accommodations with witnesses, attorneys and staff.

Both the government and Arpaio’s attorneys have agreed to the three week postponement, court document said.

Arpaio, who is leaving office in January, is accused of defying a judge’s order in a racial profiling case. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge but if convicted, he faces up to six months behind bars.

The six-term sheriff will be replaced by Phoenix Police Sgt. Paul Penzone.