New Maricopa County sheriff takes office in private ceremony

Posted at 11:29 AM, Jan 01, 2017

Maricopa County has a new sheriff for the first time in 24 years.

Paul Penzone assumed the office from former sheriff Joe Arpaio just after midnight on New Year's Day.

Penzone was sworn in at a private ceremony attended just by family. A formal swearing-in event is set for Wednesday.

A news release from Penzone's staff says he spent New Year's Eve and the first hours of the new year visiting with deputies and staff. He attended a DUI task force briefing in Scottsdale and then went to sheriff's headquarters in Phoenix and broadcast a radio message at 12:01 a.m. on every sheriff's channel.

A Democrat, Penzone defeated Arpaio by a wide margin in November and ended his effort to win a seventh term.