The story of Adam Stoddard, the sheriff’s deputy in Arizona who lifted a document in open court from the files of a defense attorney is by now well-known, particularly among the legal community and especially the criminal defense bar. If you haven’t seen the video of the officer’s despicable conduct, I invite you to do so here:
The latest on this is that the judge in whose courtroom Stoddard worked ordered him to jail for contempt of court after Stoddard refused to apologize to the attorney for stealing the document from her case file. Stoddard was recently released from custody and praised by his boss, the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County. For what, I’m not entirely sure.
The most disturbing thing about Stoddard’s conduct is the sense of entitlement and arrogance he exhibited throughout the incident, continuing through the hearing. That is, it doesn’t seem like Stoddard thought he did anything wrong at all. That it was his duty to pry into the defense attorney’s files because, well, she’s a defense attorney, and her clients are the scum of the earth.