Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio formally charged with criminal contempt
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio addresses the media about a simulated school shooting in Fountain Hills, Arizona, February 9, 2013. REUTERS/Darryl Webb

According to the Arizona Republic, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been formally charged with criminal contempt.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton signed a proposed order initially submitted by prosecutors Oct. 17, charging the controversial sheriff with federal contempt of court, setting his trial for Dec. 6 in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

The charges come two weeks before voters go to the polls where Arpaio is trailing badly.