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Arpaio played probe for laughs

An audio recording has surfaced of an Arizona sheriff playing his refusal to cooperate in a racial profiling investigation for laughs at a fundraiser for an anti-illegal immigration group in Texas. He ridicules politicians who sought the probe and displayed contempt toward federal authorities who were — and are still — investigating him on two fronts.

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3 new appointees on clemency board; long-time chief out (access required)

Duane Belcher, chairman and executive director of the Arizona Board of Clemency, is on his way out after 20 years, as three new appointees take their places on the panel now made up entirely of Gov. Jan Brewer’s picks. Belcher’s departure, some observers say, creates a vacuum of experience and leadership. Belcher is also one of the last members left from a board that unanimously recommended in 2009 to reduce a life sentence for a man many believe is innocent of a double murder.

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Key ATF agents in Fast and Furious case blame prosecutors

TUCSON — Two federal agents at the heart of a failed gunrunning investigation are blaming federal prosecutors for allowing illegal buyers to take the weapons to Mexico. The Arizona Daily Star reports that lawyers for ATF supervisors Bill Newell and David Voth sent letters to two members of Congress investigating Operation Fast and Furious last month, saying federal prosecutors blocked any efforts to arrest the suspected illegal buyers or to seize the guns before they reached Mexico.

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Lawsuit targeting Arpaio over dog-death case settled

Lawyers tentatively settled a lawsuit by a Chandler police officer who accused Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating his rights by arresting the officer in the death of his police dog. Police Sgt. Tom Lovejoy settled his case against Arpaio on Friday, just days before jury selection in the civil case was set to begin.

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Ducey says keys to economy are simplified tax code, getting government out of the way (access required)

Doug Ducey brought 13 years of experience running a business in the private sector, including time as CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, to his post as Arizona state treasurer. Now, as he and his staff are responsible for managing the state’s $11.4 billion portfolio of taxpayer money on a daily basis, he shares what the state is — and is not — doing effectively in recovering from the Great Recession.

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