PHOENIX (AP) - Prosecutors in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's now-pardoned criminal case say past court decisions back up their claim that the clemency annuls his conviction.

But the U.S. Justice Department lawyers also said Thursday that the pardon doesn't require Judge Susan Bolton to alter or erase records in Arpaio's criminal case.

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Arpaio is seeking to formally dismiss his case and throw out a blistering 14-page ruling that explained the reasoning behind his guilty verdict.

His lawyers say they are trying to clear Arpaio's name and barred the ruling's use in future court cases.

Arpaio critics say the decision should remain intact to serve as a rebuke of Arpaio and as a deterrent to other politicians who might want to disobey a judge's orders.