Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry listens as he gets the endorsement of Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, during a campaign stop at Joey's Diner in Amherst, N.H. (Credit: AP Photo)
PHOENIX (AP) -- An audio recording has surfaced of an Arizona sheriff playing his refusal to cooperate in a racial profiling investigation for laughs at a fundraiser for an anti-illegal immigration group in Texas.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio displayed contempt toward federal authorities who at the time were -- and are still -- investigating him on two fronts.
His comments in the 2009 audio recording came as the U.S. Justice Department had already launched a civil rights probe of his trademark immigration patrols and the FBI was already examining abuse-of-power allegations for the sheriff's investigations of political foes.
Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff," boasted in the September 2009 speech in Houston that he arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants after politicians and federal investigators started to pick apart his patrols.