World

Sheriff Joe Arpaio pleads not guilty to criminal charge just weeks before seventh term

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2013, file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to reporters in Phoenix, Ariz. Arpaio's lawyers want a federal judge to recuse himself from all future proceedings in a racial-profiling case. Attorney Charles Cooper says U.S. District Judge Murray Snow "has engaged in improper private, off-the-record meetings and communications about the merits of the case with the court-appointed monitor" investigating the sheriff's office. The motion filed Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, also seeks removal of the monitor. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2013, file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to reporters in Phoenix, Ariz. Arpaio's lawyers want a federal judge to recuse himself from all future proceedings in a racial-profiling case. Attorney Charles Cooper says U.S. District Judge Murray Snow "has engaged in improper private, off-the-record meetings and communications about the merits of the case with the court-appointed monitor" investigating the sheriff's office. The motion filed Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, also seeks removal of the monitor. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona has pleaded not guilty to a criminal contempt-of-court charge less than two weeks before he tries to win his seventh term.

The lawman of metro Phoenix opted to enter his plea in a court filing Friday instead of during a courtroom appearance. Arpaio was charged for defying a court order to stop his immigration patrols in a racial profiling case.

The sheriff prolonged the patrols for more than a year. A judge later determined Arpaio's officers profiled Latinos and said he believed Arpaio did it to benefit his 2012 campaign.

The sheriff has acknowledged the violation but insists it wasn't intentional.

He has been charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, Arpaio could face up to six months in jail but wouldn't be barred from office.

More On This...

Arpaio's trial is scheduled for Dec. 6. His lawyers also asked the court Friday for a 120-day continuance so they can prepare.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram