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Ariz. sheriff accused of misspending $99m

Associated Press / April 14, 2011

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PHOENIX — An examination in Arizona’s Maricopa County has found that the sheriff’s office, widely known for efforts against illegal immigrants, inappropriately spent $99 million from two jail funds over the last eight years to pay for other law enforcement operations.

The $99 million is an update to an estimate made in September by budget officials who said the office of Sheriff Joe Arpaio was believed to have used $60 million and $80 million from a jail tax for other purposes. Since then, officials said they discovered that the sheriff’s office had inappropriately spent money from a second jail account.

Maricopa County officials also said that Arpaio’s office had spent the money on unsuccessful criminal cases brought against two county officials and a judge.

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