Thursday, April 14, 2011

Arizona - County Says Its Sheriff Spent $99 Million Inappropriately

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Arizona - County Says Its Sheriff Spent $99 Million Inappropriately - NYTimes.com

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, known for efforts against illegal immigrants, inappropriately spent $99 million from two jail funds over the past eight years to pay for other law enforcement operations, including immigration patrols, county budget officials said. The figure released Wednesday is an update to an estimate made in September by budget officials who said the sheriff’s office was believed to have used up to $80 million over four or five years from a jail tax on other purposes. Since then, officials said they discovered that the sheriff, Joe Arpaio, had inappropriately spent money from a second jail account. The findings were sent to federal prosecutors, who are investigating Sheriff Arpaio on abuse of power allegations. He was not at a county meeting on Wednesday where the budget was discussed because he was at an immigration raid. But interim Chief Deputy Sheriff Jerry Sheridan blamed an outdated payroll system for the mistake.

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