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Updated Aug 21, 2013 - 2:02 pm

Immigrant rights activist drops lawsuit against Sheriff Arpaio

PHOENIX -- The man who led a failed attempt to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio earlier this year has dropped a lawsuit he filed against the sheriff.

The trial was set to start Tuesday, but Valley activist Randy Parraz dropped the lawsuit at the last minute.

Parraz, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona, had been arrested in 2008 for trespassing and disorderly conduct at a Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting. A judge dismissed those charges.

Parraz then filed a lawsuit against the sheriff, claiming that he was maliciously prosecuted.

Parraz said in a statement that the factors that led him to drop the lawsuit "shall remain confidential." He described a press release issued by the sheriff's office about the end of the lawsuit as a personal attack.

The sheriff's release called Parraz's behavior as that of a "scared little kid with a reckless disregard for taxpayers" and claimed that Parraz had been harassing and interfering with the sheriff's daily responsibilities with "sophomoric actions that disrupted government."

Those actions included sending live chickens to the office, claimed Arpaio.

Arpaio reiterated his claims about Parraz's personal attacks on 92.3 KTAR. "I'd be glad to show anybody all of his garbage that he's been going against me."

Arpaio said he thinks he knows why Parraz dropped the lawsuit. "I just suspect that he knew that the jury that was about to be picked was going to come back in our favor," Arpaio said.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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