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Arpaio Takes Stand In Lawsuit Over Dismissed Animal Cruelty Charges

Joe Arpaio took the stand Wednesday in a lawsuit over now-dismissed animal cruelty charges against Sen. Jeff Flake’s son. The suit alleges the former Maricopa County Sheriff pursued charges in the deaths of 21 dogs to gain publicity for himself.

On the stand, Arpaio was unable to cite any evidence to back up his case against Austin Flake and his former wife Logan Brown. Arpaio said his detectives had gathered the proper evidence to recommend charges, but declined to explain further.

In 2014, the pair were caring for the dogs at a Gilbert kennel operated by Brown's parents when the facility’s air conditioning failed, resulting in the dogs’ deaths.

Charges against Flake and Brown were dismissed at the request of prosecutors. The owners of the kennel pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after an expert determined the air-conditioner failed because they had not properly maintained it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.