PHOENIX - Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he supports prosecutors’ decision not to file criminal charges against one of his deputies involved in a deadly crash last year.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced Wednesday Deputy Sean Pearce won’t face manslaughter charges in the Dec. 16 collision that killed John Harding.
Arpaio said, "I agree with the county attorney's opinion."
But he added that his office still has to investigate if Pearce did anything wrong.
"We will review the facts and decide what-if any-administrative action should be taken,” said Arpaio.
Deputy Pearce was going about 81 mph in an unmarked vehicle without lights and sirens when he crashed into a silver Nissan driven by Harding, 63, at the intersection of 59th Ave and Hayward in Glendale.
Glendale investigators recommended manslaughter charges against Pearce. Harding’s family still wants answers.
Attorney Marc Victor is representing the Harding family. He said they’re “surprised” and “disappointed."
He says he's never seen a case with similar events where criminal charges weren’t filed.
"If just a citizen was coming down the road and driving at a speed like that-no lights, no sirens, somebody gets injured-I mean, they're going to be charged with a crime," He stated.
Some claim Pearce was shown favoritism because of his father: Former State Senator Russell Pearce.
Russell Pearce endorsed Montgomery's 2010 campaign to become Maricopa County Attorney in 2010.
But Sheriff Arpaio doesn’t believe that’s the case.
"He's the county attorney and I’m sure he looked at the facts and decided what the facts are," the sheriff said.
Victor said the family is pursuing a civil suit against Pearce, Sheriff Arpaio and the Sheriff’s Office.