PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The Race for Maricopa County Sheriff took an interesting turn.
Democratic candidate Paul Penzone is threatening to sue Sheriff Joe Arpaio for defamation. The threat comes from a campaign ad that Arpaio ran during the last election. Penzone is urging the Sheriff not to run the ad this time around.
The ad aired in 2012, and many say it's an example of dirty politics. It accuses Penzone of being physically abusive with his ex-wife Susan during an incident in 2003. In April she signed a affidavit calling the allegations inaccurate and misleading. Now Penzone and his attorneys say they'll sue for defamation if the Arpaio camp tries to run the ads again.
"And to have someone make a statement, or take an issue, a personal issue like that and misrepresent it for personal gain effects everyone that is close to me," said Penzone.
Penzone says a police investigation into the incident with his ex-wife concluded there was no proof he intentionally hit her.
"And for something as dishonest as this to influence a campaign goes against all the values that we stand for. We deserve better than that, and my family deserves better than that," said Penzone.
The campaign for Sheriff Joe Arpaio responded with a statement in part: "Hiding behind lawyers and threatening to sue the Arpaio campaign and the media, is nothing short of a cowardly act from a failed candidate. The ad ran four-years-ago and was based on fact from court records. There is much more to this story, and the voters of Maricopa County deserve to know about the candidates they will choose from."