Arizona

Sep 1, 2012 8:02 PM by AP

Decision not to charge Ariz. sheriff isn't the end

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.

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