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Arpaio asks judge to scheduled settlement conference in racial profiling case

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PHOENIX — Lawyers for an Arizona sheriff facing a possible a civil contempt hearing are asking a federal judge to hold a closed-door settlement conference in a racial profiling case.

The request Friday by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's attorneys said a settlement conference could lead to "productive settlement discussions" that could narrow issues before U.S. District Judge Murray Snow.

Snow told lawyers in the case on Jan. 15 that Arpaio may face an April 21-24 hearing.

The judge previously sent strong signals that he intended to pursue contempt cases that could expose Arpaio to fines and perhaps jail time.

Nineteen months ago, Snow found Arpaio's office had systematically singled out Latinos in regular traffic and special immigration patrols.

ACLU lawyers said Monday that the settlement discussions shouldn't delay the contempt proceedings.

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