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Court Video Shows Maricopa County Deputy Reading, Taking Defense Attorney’s Files

(CN) - A court-surveillance video making the rounds on YouTube and Facebook shows a detention officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office reading and taking a document from a defense attorney's files while she addressed a judge.

Officer Adam Stoddard told Arizona Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe last week that he took the documents during the Oct. 19 court hearing and made photocopies because he recognized them as papers that court security workers had not screened, The Arizona Republic reported.

Donahoe determined o Oct. 20 that the papers were subject to attorney-client privilege, the Republic reported. He continued the hearing until today (Thursday), when he may make a ruling.

Stoddard photocopied the paperwork and returned the original to the defense attorney, the Republic reported. The copy was then sealed, given to prosecutors and returned. Nobody from the sheriff's office read the papers, the Republic reported.

"America's Toughest Sheriff" Joe Arpaio is in charge of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. He has been sued at least 73 times since 2005, mostly on civil rights charges and most recently for allegedly restricting the rights of inmates to have abortions.

He has filed at least three nine lawsuits in that same time, five against his bosses, the Maricopa County Commission.

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