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Arpaio back on witness stand in contempt hearing, asked about investigations


PHOENIX — Sheriff Joe Arpaio acknowledged carrying out what he called a bizarre investigation after learning from a tipster that he and his wife's phones might be bugged.

The sheriff was questioned Friday during a hearing to decide whether he should be held in contempt of court for his defiance of a judge's order to stop carrying out his signature immigration patrols.

The contempt hearing also is focusing on an investigation that critics say was intended to get the judge disqualified from the case after ruling against Arpaio on several occasions. But Arpaio insists it wasn't an investigation into the judge and was simply about checking out allegations about phones being bugged.

He admitted it was a "rather bizarre" case, but said he couldn't stand by and ignore the claims.

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