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Arpaio faces deadline in civil rights suit

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

PHOENIX (AP) - 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 allegations.

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.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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