Former Chandler Police Department Sergeant Tom Lovejoy has filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office which is headed by Andrew Thomas. Sgt Lovejoy was arrested by sheriff's deputies and charged with animal cruelty in connection with the death of his K9 parter. Lovejoy accidentially left the dog in his car, causing the dog to die from heat exposure.
In a high-profile, politically motivated move, the prosecutor's office pursued criminal charges against Lovejoy however his criminal defense attorney
successfully defended the case and he was acquitted at trial. In his lawsuit, Lovejoy alleges that Thomas continued to pursue the case even after one of his animal abuse prosecutors expressed his belief that there was insufficient evidence to show that he intended the dog to die. Moreover, neither the sheriff nor the county attorney's office pursued charges against three different sheriff's officers who caused their K9's to die in unrelated instances.