MCSO racial profiling: County OKs compliance costs in profiling case

PHOENIX - Maricopa County officials approved the first installment Wednesday of nearly $22 million in estimated taxpayer costs for complying with a racial profiling ruling against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office.

The vote by the county Board of Supervisors gives Arpaio's office $7.6 million for the rest of the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

The remaining $14.2 million are expected to be paid in the following year. And county taxpayers also would have to pick up an additional $10 million in staff and other costs each year beginning in mid-2015 to comply with the judge's order.

In May, a judge ruled Arpaio's office has systematically singled out Latinos in its regular traffic and immigration patrols.

Those who filed the case didn't seek monetary damages and instead wanted a declaration that Arpaio's office engaged in profiling.

Compliance costs include the expense of installing video cameras in patrol vehicles, hiring a court-appointed official to monitor the agency's operations and training to ensure officers aren't making unconstitutional arrests.

Arpaio is appealing the ruling.

None of the supervisors voiced opposition to Wednesday's funding measure.

Last week, one supervisor said the compliance costs are proof that local police agencies such as the sheriff's office have no business in immigration enforcement.

Arpaio has said he doesn't regret getting involved in immigration enforcement and is duty-bound to enforce immigration laws passed at the Legislature in recent years.

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