The Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office quietly closed its abuse of power probe of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office on Friday, but the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” in the country is not out of hot water yet.
In a three sentence news release, the U.S. Attorney’s office said it would not be criminally charging anyone in its four-year-long probe of the sheriff’s office. The investigation focused on allegations Arpaio and other law enforcement officials used their positions to derail political enemies.
The department also said no charges would be filed against former top county prosecutor Andrew Thomas and one of his deputies, Lisa Aubuchon. The pair was disbarred by the Arizona Supreme Court earlier this year after they ruled the prosecutors improperly brought charges against three other county officials.
“I’m glad that the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office did a good job performing their duties, just like I perform my duties,” Arpaio told the L.A. Times on Saturday.
The Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office, lead by John S. Leonardo, did not comment on the case beyond its brief news release.
But Arpaio still faces a federal lawsuit from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which centers on allegations the sheriff’s office has engaged in a pattern of discrimination against Latinos. The sheriff, who just won the Republican primary in his bid for another term in office, is also under scrutiny in a lawsuit filed by a Latino group alleging his office frequently racially profiles suspects.