Judge formally dismisses Arpaio's criminal case

PHOENIX - A federal judge has upheld the validity of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's pardon despite claims from critics that letting his clemency stand would encourage officials to disobey future court orders.

Judge Susan Bolton cited U.S. Supreme Court precedent Wednesday when she formally dismissed the criminal case against the former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix.

Two months ago, Bolton found Arpaio guilty of disobeying a court order to stop his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

Prosecutor John Keller says the pardon ends the case and that Arpaio will never be held accountable for defying the order.

Bolton is still mulling a request from Arpaio's attorneys to throw out all rulings in the case.

Arpaio wasn't in court for Wednesday's hearing.

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