Pinal County officials at odds over selling jail

A Pinal County supervisor says the county needs to sell its jail and allow it to be operated by a private company -- an idea panned by Sheriff Paul Babeu.

A contract the county signed in 2006 with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to house immigrant detainees in the jail has already cost the county millions of dollars.

The Casa Grande Dispatch reports that Supervisor Steve Miller says the county could save $8 million a year if ends that deal by selling the jail.

ICE has agreed to renegotiate its contract with the counties, but those negotiations haven't reached a conclusion.

Babeu says state law requires sheriffs to maintain county jails and he calls Miller's suggestion absurd unless state law is changed.

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