The Latest: Sheriff says he didn't help fund investigation

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Posted: Oct 02, 2015 6:52 PM
The Latest: Sheriff says he didn't help fund investigation

PHOENIX (AP) — The latest on a hearing to decide whether an Arizona sheriff should be held in contempt for his defiance of a court order to stop his signature immigration patrols (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

An Arizona sheriff has denied an employee's claim that he personally put $10,000 toward an investigation that critics say was an attempt to disqualify a judge from a racial profiling case.

Lt. Kim Seagraves previously testified that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ahr-PEYE'-oh) gave the money to cover travel expenses for a volunteer posse member who was assisting in the investigation.

Arpaio said during a contempt-of-court hearing Friday that he never made personal financial contributions to support the investigation.

Seagraves has said she got the information from a sheriff's official who complained the agency was spending too much money on the probe.

Sheriff's officials say the agency spent $250,000 on the investigation.

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1:30 p.m.

An Arizona sheriff accused of launching an investigation into a judge in a failed bid to get him booted from a racial profiling case has repeated his claim that the judge wasn't the target of his examination.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ahr-PEYE'-oh) insisted in court Friday that his investigation focused on allegations that someone stole bank account information from thousands of people, and that someone wiretapped his lawyers' phones.

Arpaio says U.S. District Judge Murray Snow was a victim in the theft of bank information.

The sheriff was asked why the racial profiling case was mentioned in documents from the investigation.

Snow has said the probe was intended to prove the judge and U.S. Justice Department were conspiring against the sheriff.

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11:30 a.m.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio acknowledged carrying out what he called a bizarre investigation after learning from a tipster that he and his wife's phones might be bugged.

The sheriff was questioned Friday during a hearing to decide whether he should be held in contempt of court for his defiance of a judge's order to stop carrying out his signature immigration patrols.

The contempt hearing also is focusing on an investigation that critics say was intended to get the judge disqualified from the case after ruling against Arpaio on several occasions. But Arpaio insists it wasn't an investigation into the judge and was simply about checking out allegations about phones being bugged.

He admitted it was a "rather bizarre" case, but said he couldn't stand by and ignore the claims.