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PHOENIX -- A group trying to oust Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit by Arpaio supporters who want a judge to end a recall effort against the lawman.

A lawyer for recall organizers says the lawsuit is without legal merit and is a tool to try to intimidate Arpaio critics and mislead voters.

The pro-Arpaio group says recall organizers violated the equal protection and due process rights of voters who re-elected him last year.

Recall organizers say they've collected 200,000 of the 335,000 valid voter signatures needed by May 30 to force a recall election.

Arpaio supporters say the recall effort is meant to harass Arpaio.

Recall organizers say Arpaio should be ousted, in part, because his office failed to adequately investigate hundreds of sex-crimes cases.

Associated Press,

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