U.S. officials confirmed Friday they were dropping a criminal probe into alleged financial misconduct by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. However, Arpaio's office is still undergoing an investigation for separate allegations of civil rights abuses and racial profiling.
On Friday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona said it was "closing its investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by current and former members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office," Assistant U.S. Attorney Birmingham Scheel said in a press release.
"After careful review, we do not believe the allegations presented to us are prosecutable as crimes," Scheel added in an accompanying letter.
The original investigation was opened after allegations arose that Arpaio's office was misspending jail-enhancement excise taxes and misusing county credit cards.
Although these charges have been dropped, another separate investigation into alleged civil rights abuses by Arpaio's office continues, according to federal prosecutors.
The civil rights suit was brought against Arpaio in 2008 after evidence of abuses in his office emerged. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the self-styled "toughest sheriff in America" in May, citing unlawful arrests based on skin color or ethnicity.
Arpaio - infamous for his birther comments questioning the validity of President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship - continues to deny he has ever engaged in racial profiling while enforcing the state's strict immigration laws.
He is seeking re-election as sheriff this November.
by RTT Staff Writer
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