Proposal on paying back jail funds to be unveiled

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Officials plan to unveil a proposal Monday on how Maricopa County will pay back $99 million that budget analysts say was inappropriately spent by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office.

The money came from restricted jail funds and was used to pay for other operations, such as some costs for immigration patrols and unsuccessful criminal investigations against county officials.

Nearly $85 million came from a sales tax dedicated to running jails. Another $14 million came from a fund for inmates to buy household items and make phone calls.

The county's findings have been sent to prosecutors who were already investigating Arpaio on abuse of power allegations.

Arpaio's office says the $99 million figure is accurate, but that there was nothing criminal about the mistake that it blames on an outdated payroll system.