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Arpaio faces Friday deadline in civil rights suit

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawyers face a Friday
deadline for responding in court to the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights
lawsuit against the sheriff’s office.

Arpaio’s office is accused of carrying out a pattern of discrimination against
Latinos in his trademark immigration patrols and having a culture of disregard
for basic constitutional rights.

The Justice Department filed its lawsuit nearly a month ago in federal court
after settlement talks were called off when the sheriff refused to agree to a
court-appointed monitor who would help enforce a settlement of the civil rights

The sheriff has said the lawsuit was a politically motivated attempt by the
Obama administration to win favor with Latino votes in a presidential election
year and denied allegations of systematic discriminatory policing.