PHOENIX, May 24 (UPI) -- While awaiting decision in civil-contempt proceedings late last week, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio asked the public to help fund his legal fees, according to a report.
"In some instances I have to personally pay for attorneys to represent me in these cases," the Los Angeles Times quoted Arpaio as writing in an email Thursday. "I do not have the personal wealth or the wherewithal to keep up with the costly demands of paying for attorneys to defend me."
Arpaio, 83, is being sued by immigration rights groups and is in the midst of a contempt of court hearing over whether he disregarded a 2011 court order to refrain from profiling and detaining Latino immigrants.
On Friday, Arpaio's lawyers filed a request for a new judge to replace U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow.
In April, Arpaio said his former lawyer conducted a secret investigation into Snow's wife after an unidentified informant claimed she said the judge "wanted to do everything to make sure (Arpaio is) not elected."
"No reasonable person with knowledge of the facts can deny that Judge Snow is now investigating and presiding over issues involving his own family," Friday's filing reads.
In 2013, Snow ruled the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office had systematically profiled against Latinos in law enforcement operations. Arpaio is scheduled to appear before Snow in June, though the filing could affect the timetable.
Arpaio successfully had U.S. District Judge Mary Murguia replaced in the profiling case in 2009 due to her twin sister being the head of a Latino advocacy group, the Times reports.
In January, U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow ordered Arpaio to cease from using state identity theft laws to justify workplace raids against undocumented immigrants.
More than once Arpaio made headlines in recent years, accusing U.S. President Barack Obama of forging his birth certificate after the White House released the long-form version of the document and the state of Hawaii "officially confirmed that the information in the copy of the certificate of live birth for the president matches the original record in their files."
In 2011 the U.S. Justice Department accused Arpaio of racial profiling, prompting many in the Latino community -- as well as heads of the National Urban League and NAACP in Phoenix -- to call for his resignation.
"They think they can drive me out," Arpaio said at the time. "It's never going to happen."