Update: Arizona detention officer spared from jail because judge “screwed up”.

Defying a court order, Maricopa County detention officer Adam Stoddard said he would rather go to jail than apologize for swiping a defense attorney’s court file.

Now it’s up Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe to follow through on his contempt of court finding against Stoddard and place him in jail.

However, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio – who runs the jails – has vowed to challenge the order if it comes down to that.

The original incident occurred in October as defense attorney Joanne Cuccia was defending her client at the podium. It was captured in the video below.

On November 17, Donahoe found Stoddard in contempt of court and ordered him to issue a public apology to Cuccia by Dec. 1.

Monday night, on the eve before the deadline, Arpaio asked for an extension to the deadline to prepare an appeal, according to Heat City, which has done an excellent job of covering this debacle.

Donahoe refused the extension.

Then, when it appeared that Stoddard was not going to call a press conference for his public apology, he called an impromptu press conference at 8:30 p.m. Monday night – to state that he wasn’t going to apologize.

This news was first broken on Heat City reporter Nick Martin’s Twitter feed Monday night.

Stoddard was defiant, saying he would rather go to jail than apologize for doing his job.

Martin then fleshed out the story today on Heat City.

In the above CBS video, Stoddard reads from a prepared statement, saying he had a security concern when he pulled the document out of the court file, which blatantly violated the sacred attorney-client privilege.


I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar, which helps pay for the thousands of dollars I’ve acrued in debt since my arrest. To keep updated on the latest articles, join my networks at Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed.