Arpaio enters not guilty plea in criminal contempt-of-court case

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Sheriff Joe Arpaio entered a not guilty plea in his criminal contempt-of-court case on Friday.

Arpaio was charged for ignoring a judge's order in a racial-profiling case. The misdemeanor count was filed earlier this week.

Arpaio could face up to six months in jail if convicted. A misdemeanor conviction would not bar Arpaio from serving as sheriff.

The criminal charges stem from the profiling case that Arpaio lost three years ago that morphed into a contempt case after the sheriff was accused of defying a 2011 court order to stop his immigration patrols.

County taxpayers have spent $48 million so far to defend Arpaio and his office in the profiling case. The cost is expected to reach $72 million by next summer.

Arpaio did not appear in court.

[RELATED: Arpaio officially charged with criminal contempt]

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