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Grand jury hearing testimony in Arpaio probe

A top Maricopa County official is testifying before a grand jury looking into whether the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America” has abused his power.

Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson went into the federal court building in Phoenix on Wednesday morning after being subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury. County Manager David Smith is expected later in the morning.

Grand jury proceedings are secret, but Smith says federal prosecutors have asked him about allegations that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others abused their power. County officials say Arpaio’s deputies have tried to intimidate county workers by showing up at their homes at night to ask them about budget items.

Arpaio has clashed with county officials over budget cuts that totaled $17 million this year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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