- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A court ruling says a Mesa businessman waited too long to file a lawsuit accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of conducting an investigation to punish the man for backing an election opponent of the sheriff.

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that towing company owner Lee Watkins shouldn’t have waited to sue until 2011 to sue over the sheriff’s investigation begun in 2005.

Watkins contended the investigation was groundless and politically motivated and he said he couldn’t sue until after prosecutors decided in 2010 against filing any charges.

However, the court upheld a trial judge’s dismissal of the suit and ruled that Watkins needed to sue earlier because Arizona law sets a one-year statute of limitations for suits filed against public entities.

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