Testimony begins in grand jury hearing on Sheriff Joe

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PHOENIX – There was strong testimony on Wednesday against Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the first day of grand jury hearings.

A federal grand jury is looking into allegations that the sheriff has abused his power.

On Wednesday afternoon one of the witnesses in the case, County Manager David Smith, issued the following statement:

"Dozens and dozens of county employees have been targeted by Sheriff Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas with retaliatory criminal investigations without cause, and disruption of their working lives without justification. Sandi Wilson and I expect to return to the grand jury to give even more detailed testimony in three or four weeks about the many abuses of power by Sheriff Arpaio."

The sheriff also issued a statement saying, in part, "I have devoted my life and career to law enforcement. I am confident that this inquiry will clear me and my office." 

More testimony is expected on Thursday.