Judge dismisses Arpaio defamation lawsuit

Former Maricopa County Sheriff sued media outlets

PHOENIX, Ariz. - A federal judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio against three national medial outlets.

Arpaio filed suit against CNN, The Huffington Post, and Rolling Stone last December.  The lawsuit claimed the organizations published inaccurate references to his criminal case.  It also claimed the coverage hurt his chances of running for the U.S. Senate in 2020.  Arpaio sought $3-million in damages.

In issuing his opinion. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said Arpaio's suit failed to prove malice.

The former sheriff's attorney says he's certain the judge will allow him to amend the complaint.  He's confident the case will eventually move forward to a jury trial.

Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt in July 2017 for failing to obey a federal judge's order. President Donald Trump pardoned him the following month.  Arpaio's mounting a separate court battle to get his conviction expunged. 

Arpaio has abandoned his plans for a Senate candidacy, but announced in August he'll try to win back his office as Maricopa County Sheriff.  Arpaio lost the 2016 election to Democrat Paul Penzone.  


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