May 23, 2012 5:07 AM
PHOENIX (AP) - A judge has been assigned to preside over the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff Office.
U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver was randomly drawn as the judge to preside over the case.
A lawsuit filed by the Justice Department on May 10 alleges that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies racially profile Latinos in the sheriff's trademark immigration patrols and that the sheriff's office retaliated against critics of the patrols.
The sheriff has long denied the racial profiling allegations.
He says people are stopped if deputies have probable cause to believe they have committed crimes and that deputies later find many of them are illegal immigrants.