May 10, 2012 11:11 PM
PHOENIX (AP) - Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio faces a federal court showdown over charges that deputies on his trademark immigration patrols racially profiled Latinos in violation of civil rights law.
A visibly angry Arpaio told a news conference that he will "fight this to the bitter end."
After months of negotiations failed to reach a settlement over the allegations, the U.S. Justice Department took the rare step of filing suit on Thursday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez said Arpaio and his department "have been a glaring exception" to most agencies that have cooperated with the Justice Department.
The main issue that caused talks to break down last month was federal officials' insistence that Arpaio agree to a court-appointed monitor for the department. Arpaio objected, saying it would undermine his authority.