(Newsroom America) -- Justice Department officials have quietly dropped a criminal investigation of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, self-styled as "America's Toughest Sheriff," over alleged financial misconduct, and no charges will be filed, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday.
Though a separate investigation over allegations of civil rights violations by Arpaio and his department is ongoing, Friday's announcement marked the end of a probe begun in November 2010 at the request of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors over questions about financial misconduct by the sheriff and his deputies.
The federal inquiry into several of those charges came to an end last summer with the U.S. Attorney's Office filing no charges.
In addition, federal officials notified the Maricopa County authorities Friday that no charges would be filed over additional financial allegations, including charges that Arpaio and his department had misused county credit cards or misspent money from jail facilities excise taxes.
Also, the Justice Department declined to prosecute a pair of former county attorneys charged with wrongfully prosecuting a local judge.
In a statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel said her office "is closing its investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by current and former members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office."
Arpaio, 80, who returned from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Friday, said he was "very happy" with the decision.
"I send my appreciation to the federal government for their hard work in clearing my office," he said.
Arpaio is planning to run for a sixth term as sheriff in November. He has been under federal investigation since 2008 for allegations he and his department have engaged in serial federal civil rights abuses.
The feisty sheriff, a former DEA agent, has said his department does not single out Hispanics or other minorities for special attention.
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