Attorneys Awarded $4.4 Million For MCSO Racial Profiling Suit

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Friday, September 12, 2014 - 7:30am

PHOENIX - The lawyers who sued the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for racial profiling have been awarded $4.4 million dollars in attorneys fees and expenses. 

When the plaintiffs prevailed in their suit against the Sheriff’s office for discriminating against Latino drivers, it meant they were entitled to attorneys fees. The dollar figure had been contested between the parties.

On Thursday, Judge Murray Snow issued his order. The $4.4 million will be shared among attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Arizona, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund and the law firm Covington & Burling.

"These fee awards are meant to ensure that agencies do not violate civil rights with impunity," said Cecillia Wang of the ACLU in a statement. "Today’s order should come as no surprise since Sheriff Arpaio and MCSO had every opportunity to settle this case at an early stage in order to avoid the high costs, but instead chose to stubbornly stick to their illegal policies to the detriment of the people of Maricopa County.”

The plaintiffs had requested $6.7 million in their most recent filings, but Wang said she was pleased with the award.

Meanwhile litigation in the case continues, as the Sheriff's office has appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.