'No one is above the law.' Local leaders react to Arpaio's pardon

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

"Joe Arpaio does not deserve a pardon."

"The president is a coward."

Local lawmakers are expressing some strong feelings about President Trump's pardon of Joe Arpaio.

The president pardoned the former sheriff following Arpaio's conviction for intentionally disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case.

[READ MORE: President Trump pardons former Sheriff Joe Arpaio]

The White House announced the move Friday night, saying the 85-year-old ex-sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County was a "worthy candidate" for a presidential pardon.

Arizona Senator John McCain issued this statement about the pardon on Friday night:

“No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders. The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone released the following statement:

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.

Here is a statement by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton on the presidential pardon:

"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 [sic] 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 divisiveness that defined the Arpaio era. Donald Trump can ignore the rule of law, but it was our voters who removed Joe Arpaio from power."

[To read PDF of the Mayor's statement, click here]

Not all oppose the presidential pardon. Here is a statement from Dr. Kelli Ward:

We applaud the President for exercising his pardon authority to counter the assault on Sheriff Arpaio's heroic efforts to enforce the nation's immigration laws." 

But many are critical of the president's move.

Senator Jeff Flake released this statement via Twitter:

Regarding the Arpaio pardon, I would have preferred that the President [sic] honor the judicial process and let it take its course.

In a tweet, State Rep. Raul Grijalva had this to say:

"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."

Meantime, Congressman Ruben Gallego released this statement:

“The president is a coward, he waited until Friday evening to pardon his racist bigoted ally as a hurricane hits and distracts America"  -Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona)

The ACLU had this response to the pardon:

With his pardon of Arpaio, President Trump has chosen lawlessness over justice, division over unity, hurt over healing.

Rep. Krysten Sinema had this to say on Twitter:

I am dismayed by the President's [sic] decision to pardon Joe Arpaio. Arpaio hurt Arizonans & cost taxpayers a great amount of grief & money. He should be held accountable. No one is above the law.

Leaders of the Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus released this statement after President Trump announced his pardon of Arpaio:

"Today’s announcement from President Trump is yet another display of disrespect to the Latino community in Arizona. During Joe Arpaio’s 24 years as the sheriff in Maricopa County, he abused his position of authority to drive a personal agenda that promoted racism.

Country Supervisor Steve Gallardo said this:

At the end of the day Joe Arpaio is out office, Joe Arpaio has been convicted, I would have loved to of had a mugshot so I could have framed it and hung it on my wall.”

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