Sheriff Arpaio sends 'final' news release as he leave office

Posted at 12:51 PM, Dec 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-31 21:02:36-05

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has issued what his staff calls his "final" news release as he prepares to leave office after 24 years.

Saturday's release says "Sheriff Joe would like to thank the citizens of Maricopa County and those around the country for their support of an unprecedented 24 years as Sheriff of Maricopa County."

Arpaio is also quoted as saying it has been an honor to serve the people of Maricopa County and although he will no longer be sheriff he will still be around.

The release ends with a Happy New Year salute from Arpaio.

The media-savvy 84-year-old lawman lost his bid for a seventh term in office to retired Phoenix Police Sgt. Paul Penzone in November.

Penzone officially assumes the office at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday.