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4:36 PM Fri, Dec. 14th

Arpaio lawyers file opening brief to have conviction erased

File photo of Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio is asking an appeals court to overturn a judge’s decision that the ex-lawman’s criminal contempt conviction stands despite his being pardoned by President Donald Trump. (Howard Fischer/Capitol Media)

File photo of Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio is asking an appeals court to overturn a judge’s decision that the ex-lawman’s criminal contempt conviction stands despite his being pardoned by President Donald Trump. (Howard Fischer/Capitol Media)

PHOENIX — Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is asking an appeals court to overturn a judge's decision that the ex-lawman's criminal contempt conviction stands despite his being pardoned by President Donald Trump.

An opening brief filed Thursday by Arpaio's lawyers makes numerous legal arguments that his conviction in federal court in Phoenix should be undone.

The arguments include that the pardon made the contempt case moot before Arpaio could appeal the conviction that he intentionally defied a court order to stop traffic patrols targeting immigrants.

U.S. District Susan Bolton has ruled that the conviction stands despite the pardon because the pardon only affected possible punishments.

Arpaio filed notice of the appeal in October.

Arpaio is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake.