The brief statement represents a significant change for Arpaio and for DOJ, both of whom as recently as last week seemed headed to court. The investigation found there was reasonable cause to believe that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office engaged "in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing" and "engages in racial profiling of Latinos; unlawfully stops, detains, and arrests Latinos; and unlawfully retaliates against individuals who complain about or criticize MCSO's policies or practices." The statement came after a meeting held between officials with DOJ's Civil Rights Division, representatives of Arpaio, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and the attorneys for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. It's unclear what brought about DOJ backing off its immediate threat to sue.
DOJ had previously said they'd sue Arpaio in the near term unless they were convinced he was acting in good faith. Discussions are now supposed to be completed by April 14, 2012, a month and a half after Arpaio's "cold case posse" announces the findings of their "shocking" investigation into Barack Obama's birth certificate and eligibility to be president.