Saturday, September 1, 2012

Government ends criminal probe of controversial Arizona sheriff (civil rights abuse probe continues)

Reuters/CNBC ^ | August 31, 2012 | Reporting By Tim Gaynor; Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Cooney

PHOENIX (Reuters) - The federal government has closed a criminal probe of alleged financial misconduct by Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, who styles himself as "America's toughest sheriff," saying no charges would be filed, the U.S. Attorney's Office said on Friday.

A separate federal investigation relating to allegations of civil rights abuses by Arpaio's office is continuing.

The announcement on Friday marked the end of an investigation that began in November 2010 at the behest of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to examine alleged financial 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.

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