Groups want prosecutor appointed to appeal Arpaio's pardon

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Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Legal advocacy groups that opposed former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's pardon are asking an appeals court to appoint a special prosecutor to appeal a lower-court decision that let the retired lawman's clemency stand.

[RELATED: Judge won't appoint special prosecutor in Joe Arpaio's case]

The groups filed a brief last week with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says a special prosecutor should be appointed because the U.S. Justice Department isn't pursuing an appeal and the power of the courts is at stake.

[RELATED: Arpaio to supporters: Should I run for Senate?]

The pardon spared Arpaio a possible jail sentence for his contempt of court conviction for intentionally disobeying a 2011 court order to stop his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio]

The case has since been dismissed, but the judge who found Arpaio guilty has said the pardon hasn't erased the conviction from his record.

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