'America's toughest sheriff' Joe Arpaio faces no charges
Federal attorneys find nothing untoward in investigation
Federal attorneys have announced that they will be ending their investigation into whether Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio abused the power of his office. A criminal probe had been initiated into the alleged financial misconduct of Arpaio, hailed by some as "America's toughest sheriff." No charges will be filed, the U.S. Attorney's Office declared last week.
The 80-year-old Arpaio is seeking re-election to a sixth term as sheriff in November. He has been under a separate federal inquiry since 2008 over allegations that he and his deputies engaged in a lengthy series of civil rights abuses.
Last week's announcement marked the end of an investigation that began in November 2010 at the behest of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to examine so-called improprieties by the county sheriff and his deputies.
A federal criminal inquiry into several of those matters was concluded last summer with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona declining to initiate criminal charges.
Federal prosecutors had declined to bring charges in connection with allegations that the sheriff's office had misused county credit cards or misspent money from jail facilities excise taxes.
The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to prosecute two former officials of the county attorney's office who were accused of wrongfully prosecuting a local judge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel said in a statement that her office "is closing its investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by current and former members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office."
Arpaio says that he was "very happy" with the decision. "I send my appreciation to the federal government for their hard work in clearing my office," he said in a news briefing.
The 80-year-old Arpaio is seeking re-election to a sixth term as sheriff in November. He has been under a separate federal inquiry since 2008 over allegations that he and his deputies engaged in a lengthy series of civil rights abuses. Arpaio, first voted into office in 1992, has been elected five times and is seeking a sixth term.
Arpaio has long denied any wrongdoing, saying he would cooperate with investigators.
Arpaio said last month that volunteer investigators working for him concluded that President Barack Obama's birth certificate is not legitimate.
"At the very least," he said at a news conference, "I can tell you this, based on all of the evidence presented and investigated, I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic."
Arpaio also denied in testimony in a class-action lawsuit that his deputies targeted people on account of race.
"I am against anyone racial profiling ... today as in my 50 years in law enforcement," Arpaio told the court during cross-examination.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Sheriff Joe Arpaio, federal investigation, finanacial wrongdoing, racial profiling
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