Sheriff's Office internal report available -- for a hefty fee

February 12, 2013

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has released the findings of an internal investigation into hundreds of uninvestigated or mishandled sex crimes. If you want a copy of the report, it’ll cost you 50 cents a page. For a 10,000-page report, that’s a $5,000 copying fee. Or, the public can go to the Sheriff’s Office to read, photograph, or scan the report by hand.

It does not appear the MCSO will release the report in any digital format.

Media attorney David Bodney says charging $0.50 a page stretches the limit of what’s reasonable.

“This is the latest example of the Sheriff's attempt to frustrate the public’s right to know and monitor what they’re up to. We live in a time, technologically, when it is quite simple to compress this data onto a disc and make it available for a fraction of the cost," Bodney said.

Bodney says it shouldn’t be difficult or expensive for the public to access reports like this, and that the remedy is a shift in thinking.

“It is getting public officials such as Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio to understand the importance of facilitating transparency in government, and doing what it can to make information about its activities -- whether they be positive or negative -- out to the public," Bodney said.

Bodney says the copying fee for the report is far more expensive than it would be at a print shop.