Federal action on MCSO could cost the rest of the county

December 16, 2011

Maricopa County leaders are worried that Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s battle with the Department of Justice could hurt other county agencies. KJZZ’s Al Macias reports county leaders are worried about the possible loss of millions of dollars in federal aid.

AL MACIAS: The Justice Department’s three-year investigation found a pattern of civil rights violations in the sheriff’s department.  DOJ has given the sheriff’s office until January 4th to agree to cooperate or face a federal lawsuit.

County leaders are worried that federal funding to Maricopa County could be in jeopardy. Not just the $5 million the sheriff’s department gets but money that goes to other department including $48 million to human services and $29 million for public health. Cari Gerchick is a county spokesperson.

CARI GERCHICK: We hope that not all of our federal funding is implicated by the sheriff’s actions and by what’s going on at the sheriff’s office. But it certainly could be and that’s something we need to take a really hard look at.

AL MACIAS: The county is expected to receive $155 million this fiscal year from the feds. Gerchick says county leaders are asking for legal advice from the county attorney but no meetings have been scheduled yet.

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EDITOR'S NOTE (12/19/2011): An earlier version of this story misspelled county spokesperson Cari Gerchick's name.