Austin Flake, the son of Sen. Jeff Flake, filed a federal lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio alleging that Arpaio engaged in malicious prosecution by trumping up animal cruelty charges to felony level in an effort to hurt Sen. Flake’s campaign. The Flakes have vocalized their disagreement over Arpaio’s positions on immigration and Arpaio’s previous questioning over former President Barak Obama’s birth certificate.
Flake’s Attorney: Arpaio Didn’t Have Sufficient Evidence for Animal Cruelty Charges
According to Austin Flake’s attorney, Stephen Montoya, Joe Arpaio proceeded with filing charges despite not having sufficient evidence to support felony animal cruelty charges. Montoya stated that Arpaio was unable to prove that Flake or his former wife had any intention to hurt the dogs, who died in 2014 while boarded in a room without air conditioning during the night at their kennel. Reports state 21 dogs died. The Flakes allege that not only did the criminal charge occur to hurt Sen. Flake’s campaign, but it also hurt Austin Flake’s marriage. Flake was 21 and his wife was 20 at the time of the incident.