Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office will not face state criminal charges in an investigation by federal officials.
In a release Friday night, Ann Birmingham Scheel, acting on behalf of the United States because of the recusal of U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo, announced that her office is closing its criminal investigation into allegations by current and former members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
It stemmed from allegations of abuse of power by Arpaio and his staff. Arpaio, along with then County Attorney Andrew Thomas were being investigated for using their office to target their political opponents.
The focus of some of those investigations were top county leaders and members of the Board of Supervisors as well as the Maricopa County Superior Court presiding judge.
Several of those targets were indicted. Some were arrested but in almost every case, the charges were eventually dropped.
Arpaio's office said it's "a real victory us."
A spokeswoman for the Board of Supervisors and county staff who were targeted said they were shocked and very disappointed they were not notified.
A federal judge has yet to rule in a civil trial brought by a group of Latino plaintiffs that Arpaio or any of his deputies engaged in racial profiling.
Former County Attorney Andrew Thomas released the following statement Friday night:
"The Justice Department acknowledged the obvious: A jury of citizens simply would not indict a prosecutor who had done his job. This decision directly contradicts the State Bar's claim that the taking of my law license could be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt." The real losers in the political witch hunt that just ended are the people of Arizona. Prosecutors no longer attempt to fight corruption or illegal immigration in Arizona because they fear being targeted and disbarred. Though I have suffered a grave injustice, I will continue to campaign for reforms in our courts and elsewhere so the powerful and corrupt are not above the law."
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:20:26 GMT
U.S. Marshals are joining the manhunt for an Arizona inmate who escaped from a central Arizona jail.More >
U.S. Marshal David Gonzales of the Arizona District said Thursday that federal agents will work with local officials to locate Wade Cole Dickinson, who escaped from the Camp Verde Detention Center at around 2:30 p.m. on July 12.More >
They were born just two weeks apart. A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old pit bull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other! Louisiana native Brandi Hodges, 25, has posted photosMore >
A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old Pitbull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other!More >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:38:06 GMT
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is asking for a temporary restraining order on the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to keep MCAO from investigating allegations of campaign mismanagement.More >
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is asking for a temporary restraining order on the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.More >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:53:10 GMT
Change is in the wind for the quiet border town of San Luis, AZ. The farming community may soon be home to a massive solar wind tower.More >
Change is in the wind for the quiet border town of San Luis, AZ. The farming community may soon be home to a massive solar wind tower - the sheer enormity of which would make it a new Arizona landmark.More >