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Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone drops defamation suit against Joe Arpaio

PHOENIX — Newly installed Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone has dropped a defamation lawsuit against the man he beat for the job less than four months after filing.

Penzone’s lawyers set aside the suit against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio late last week.

Penzone, who defeated Arpaio in November’s general election, sued over a campaign TV commercial that said the new sheriff had physically abused his ex-wife over 10 years ago during an argument.

The suit was filed in late September.

Had he lost, Arpaio would have been on the hook for the damages.

Penzone accused Arpaio of running the ad despite knowing the 13-year-old accusations weren’t true.

Arpaio, who was trying for a seventh straight term as sheriff, said the allegation was fair game.

Attorney Michael Manning said his client’s crushing victory over Arpaio at the polls did what the lawsuit intended to do — clear his name.

Kory Langhofer, an attorney for Arpaio, said the lawsuit would have eventually gone Arpaio’s way.

Arpaio ran a similar ad about Penzone the first time the two ran against each other in 2012.

(Editor’s note: Penzone was a contributor to and a frequent guest on the air.)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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