PHOENIX – Thanks to a judge’s order, the public could finally be getting a look at the report that led to the firing of two top aides after an investigation into corruption and abuse at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. A third employee remains under heavy scrutiny as a result of that investigation.
While hundreds of pages of the report have been released, the majority of them heavily redacted, nobody outside the investigation has seen all of the information to come out of the in-depth inquiry.
Yesterday, a judge made a ruling that will change that. He ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office must release an unredacted report compiled by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office – all 1,022 pages of it. Before it’s released for public consumption, however, the judge will review it.
PCSO wrapped up its investigation into allegations of corruption and abuse at MCSO in April. At that time, it presented the massive report to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, along with some 20,000 supporting documents.
Based on what was in the report, which Arpaio initially refused to release to the public, Chief Deputy David Hendershott and Deputy Chief Larry Black were fired. Capt. Joel Fox remains on administrative leave while his future with the department is determined. He has been on administrative leave since September, when the investigation was launched.
MCSO eventually agreed to release parts of the investigation, but the information was heavily redacted.
3TV and several other media outlets filed a lawsuit to compel MCSO to release the entire report. On Wednesday, Judge Sam Myers ruled in favor of the media.
The sheriff’s office has until Monday to release tens of thousands of documents for Myers to review. Myers will be looking at both the redacted information and the original complete report.