$7 million settlement proposed in jail death from Arpaio era

PHOENIX - Officials are considering paying $7 million to settle a lawsuit over the 2011 death of a mentally ill man in a jail run by then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Lawyers previously disclosed that Maricopa County had tentatively resolved the lawsuit over Ernest Atencio's death.

But the settlement amount wasn't revealed until Friday.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the settlement Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleged Atencio died after he was beaten and shot with a stun gun by officers.

Arpaio's get-tough approach toward inmates made him popular with many voters, but critics say he created a culture of cruelty within the jails.

Arpaio was reluctant to discuss the settlement, saying only that, "It's the Board of Supervisors' decision."

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