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With latest payout, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio has cost taxpayers $100M

Arizona Sheriff Legal Costs
Posted at 7:41 AM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 15:56:50-04

PHOENIX — Nearly five years after Joe Arpaio was voted out as sheriff of Arizona’s most populous county, taxpayers are covering one of the last major bills from the thousands of lawsuits the lawman’s headline-grabbing tactics inspired.

Officials in Maricopa County agreed last week to pay $3.1 million to cover a settlement with a restaurant owner who alleged Arpaio defamed him and violated his rights when raiding his businesses.

The payout takes to $100 million the attorney fees, settlements and other costs the county has paid from lawsuits stemming from Arpaio’s six terms.

Arpaio says jail operators are often the targets of lawsuits, and given he was sheriff 24 years “$100 million is not unreasonable.”