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Sheriff Joe Arpaio criminal contempt: Case dismissed against Arpaio lieutenants

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Posted at 1:15 PM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 00:56:15-05

There's another twist in the criminal contempt case against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, as the case against his lieutenants is dismissed by a federal judge.

In a court order filed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, the case against Chief Deputy Gerard Sheraton, Captain Steven Bailey and Michele Iafrate has been dismissed.

In explaining her decision, Bolton cited a one-year statute of limitations for criminal contempt, saying Judge Snow's order was given three weeks after the statute of limitations expired. However, the case against Arpaio himself will continue. 

Arpaio's trial is set to begin in May 2017 after it was pushed back from April 4 due to the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament being held in downtown Phoenix.

Arpaio, who is leaving office in January, is accused of defying a judge’s order in a racial profiling case. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, but if convicted, he faces up to six months behind bars.

The six-term sheriff will be replaced by former Phoenix Police Sgt. Paul Penzone.