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Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s contempt hearings wind down with closing arguments

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The end is in sight for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s contempt hearings.

Closing arguments were scheduled to begin Friday, when U.S. District Judge Murray Snow said the day will focus solely on the civil contempt case. Arpaio could face civil fines and possibly criminal contempt charges.

Arpaio has admitted to ignoring a federal order to end his immigration patrols, telling the court in April he didn’t understand the injunction.

The hearings also revealed that Arpaio had been secretly investigating Snow’s family.

Arpaio later said the investigation was not about Snow but a bank information breach based a tip.

The 83-year-old sheriff, who has been in office since 1993, had previously tried to have Murray taken off a racial profiling case against him.

An appeals court dismissed the request in September.

Now, Arpaio’s fate is up to Snow.

“He has already heard everything,” KTAR legal analyst Monica Lindstrom said of the judge.

“When the attorneys get up and talk, their words are just arguments, not evidence. … (Snow) has already made his decision, although he could be persuaded if the attorneys bring up something new.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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