Austin Flake, the adult son of Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, is suing former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for malicious prosecution, arguing the sheriff brought criminal charges against him in 2014 purely to embarrass his family.
The junior Flake will revive his longstanding legal dispute with the former sheriff, after their attorney discovered authorities may have suppressed important pieces of evidence, The Associated Press reported.
Sen. Flake, an avowed critic of the president who publicly feuded with the sheriff, will not seek re-election in November. Arpaio is one of several Republicans competing to succeed Flake. Other GOP candidates include U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and former state Sen. Kelli Ward.
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Flake the Younger and his ex-wife, Logan Brown, were charged with animal cruelty in 2014, after two dozen dogs in their care died of heat exhaustion. Brown’s parents ran a kennel near Phoenix, which the Flakes were supervising while the Browns were out of town.
Prosecutors eventually dismissed the case against Flake and his wife, though the Browns pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges since they failed to adequately maintain the kennel’s air conditioning system.
Flake and his ex-wife allege the case against them was always flimsy and was brought to bring negative publicity to Sen. Flake.
The first iteration of the Flake/Brown civil suit against Arpaio was unsuccessful. An eight-member jury found in Arpaio’s favor after a six day trial in December 2017. Should a judge find Arpaio and his associates suppressed evidence favorable to the plaintiffs, a second trial could follow.
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