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MCSO Monitor Costs County Hundreds Of Thousands Every Month
An ongoing civil rights lawsuit against the county is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars every month. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is paying to comply with a court order and footing the bill for an outside group to monitor their progress.
For fiscal 2017, the county budgeted $20 million for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to comply with the rulings in a racial-profiling lawsuit. The county set aside an additional $6.3 million to pay for the cost of the court appointed monitor.
Receipts provided to KJZZ show the county is paying on average a quarter-million dollars each month to the monitoring group Warshaw and Associates for services that include court consultations, site-reviews and investigative oversight.
A recent community update from the monitor indicated MCSO had achieved less than a quarter of the 212 total points of compliance.
Addressing the Board of Supervisors at a budget request presentation, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone says he has established a good relationship with the monitor but is wary of the way his department is being evaluated.
"There’s an element of subjectivity as it relates to the term 'compliance,'" Penzone said, "so we need to make sure there’s complete clarity in our conversations and the language that we’re using.”
Penzone has given no timeline as to when he thinks the department will be in full compliance.