MCSO accused of misusing $80 million meant solely for jails

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Maricopa County officials say the Sheriff's Office used an estimated $60 million to $80 million from a tax dedicated solely to jails to fund other law enforcement operations over the last four or five years.

County officials voted to send findings from their examination of the sheriff's office to federal prosecutors who are already investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio for abuse of power allegations.

County Manager David Smith says some of the money was used to fund Arpaio's immigration sweeps and public corruption squad.

Interim Chief Deputy Sheriff Jerry Sheridan says the figures were inflated and explains the police agency's financial system is slow to track jail employees who were transferred to other assignments.