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AZ sheriff played probe for laughs

Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio

AZ sheriff played probe for laughs

CREATED Apr 22, 2012

Web Producer: Alexa Vogtritter

PHOENIX (AP) - An audio recording has surfaced of an Arizona sheriff playing his refusal to cooperate in a racial profiling investigation for laughs at a fundraiser for an anti-illegal immigration group in Texas.
   
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio displayed contempt toward federal authorities who at the time were - and are still - investigating him on two fronts.
   
His comments in the 2009 audio recording came as the U.S. Justice Department had already launched a civil rights probe of his trademark immigration patrols and the FBI was already examining abuse-of-power allegations for the sheriff's investigations of political foes.
   
Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff," boasted in the September 2009 speech in Houston that he arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants after politicians and federal investigators started to pick apart his patrols.

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