Sep 1, 2012 8:02 PM by AP
PHOENIX-Critics of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio are reacting with dismay at the Justice Department's decision not to bring criminal charges in its abuse of power investigation into America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff.
Authorities were investigating Arpaio for his part in failed public corruption cases against officials who were odds with him.
A former U.S. attorney in Arizona who has worked for one of the county supervisors who was charged said prosecutors had to measure the likelihood of proving any criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Paul Charlton says "as a practical and a legal matter it means nothing," adding that Arpaio's legal troubles are far from over.
A civil case brought by a small group of Latinos who accuse Arpaio's office of systematically racially profiling is awaiting a verdict from an Arizona-based federal judge.
The U.S. Department of Justice has also sued the sheriff for alleged constitutional violations including racial profiling, retaliating against Arpaio critics, and failing to adequately investigate a large number of sex-crimes cases.