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Joe Arpaio files appeal to undo contempt of court conviction

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has filed an appeal to undo his criminal contempt of court conviction, Arpaio said in a release Friday.

Arpaio’s appeal argues that the pardon he received from President Donald Trump made his case moot before the official appeals process began, and that the conviction should have been removed automatically.

He also claims in the appeal that U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton “refused to give the Sheriff a trial by jury,” and that her “verdict was completely unsupported by the evidence, among numerous other reasons.”

Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court in July for prolonging his controversial immigration sweeps for 17 months after he was directed to stop them in 2011.

Prosecutors accused Arpaio of prolonging the patrols so that he could promote his immigration enforcement efforts in a bid to boost his successful 2012 re-election campaign.

Though never sentenced, Arpaio could have faced up to six months in jail.

Arpaio was pardoned by Trump less than a month after his conviction, with the president offering praise for Arpaio, saying he was “protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”

Though legal advocacy groups had requested that the pardon be declared invalid or unconstitutional, Bolton ruled in October that the pardon will stand and dismissed the case.

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