Prosecutor: Probe of county officials had no merit

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A prosecutor says the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office threatened to publicly release criminal allegations against county officials even though a grand jury had ended its investigation into the matters without filing any charges.

Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley said Thursday that grand jury transcripts that a judge unsealed show the investigation by former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio was meritless.

Romley says the investigation centered on an allegation that county officials, judges and attorneys conspired to hinder a probe into the construction of a court building.

Romley was appointed county attorney after Thomas resigned to run for state attorney general.

Romley is now running for the county attorney job.