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PHOENIX -- U.S. Justice Department officials who filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said they'll question Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his former top aide next month.

The Justice Department said Arpaio's deposition is scheduled March 11 and former aide David Hendershott's deposition is set for March 4.

The lawsuit alleged the sheriff's office has racially profiled people, retaliated against critics and punished Latino jail inmates with limited English skills for speaking Spanish.

Arpaio has denied the claims and said the 2012 lawsuit was a politically motivated attack by the Obama administration as a way to court Latino voters during a presidential election year.

In a separate case, a judge ruled last year that Arpaio's office has racially profiled Latinos.

The Sheriff's Office is appealing that ruling.

Associated Press,

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