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With latest payout, Arizona sheriff has cost taxpayers $100M

Arpaio-AP
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File
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In this Dec. 18, 2013, file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pauses as he answers a question at a news conference at Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Headquarters in Phoenix. Nearly five years after Arpaio was voted out as sheriff of Arizona's most populous county, taxpayers are covering one of the last major bills from the thousands of lawsuits the lawman's headline-grabbing tactics inspired.

Nearly five years after Joe Arpaio was voted out as sheriff of Arizona’s most populous county, taxpayers are covering one of the last major bills from the thousands of lawsuits the lawman’s headline-grabbing tactics inspired.

The overall legal tab for Arpaio's six terms hit $100 million after Maricopa County officials agreed last week to pay $3.1 million to cover a settlement with a restaurant owner who alleged Arpaio defamed him and violated his rights when raiding his businesses.

The bills were attorney fees, settlements and other costs paid for lawsuits stemming from Arpaio’s tenure. Arpaio says “$100 million is not unreasonable” because he was sheriff for 24 years.