PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (POST) failed to act on a case for more than a year, which involved accusations of dishonesty against former Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan.
Sheridan is now running for Maricopa County Sheriff as the Republican candidate against the current Sheriff Paul Penzone. His certification lapsed last December, and his case was never brought to a vote.
Sheridan's accusations stem from his involvement in a court case against MCSO and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In that case, Melendrez v. Arpaio, a federal judge ruled that MCSO had racially profiled Hispanic drivers during traffic stops and immigration patrols.
The judge also held Arpaio and Sheridan in contempt. In Sheridan's case, the judge said the chief deputy had failed to end the department's immigration patrols, as ordered, and he failed to hand over internal affairs evidence.
During last week's sheriff candidate debate, Penzone brought up the issue of honesty.
"When you have someone like my opponent, who was actually not only found in contempt but lied in the courts, if he were to pursue any job in law enforcement across the state, he would be denied," said Penzone.
"If I was untruthful, I would be on the Brady list, which I'm not. And POST would have taken my POST certification, which they did not," said Sheridan.
According to records available via the AZ POST website, the case against Sheridan was brought before the POST board on January 16, 2019.
According to the meeting minutes, three board members recused themselves from a vote, and the Sheridan case was tabled.
The board members who recused themselves were Andrew LeFevre from Grand Canyon University, Colonel Frank Milstead from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and Alan Rodbell from the Scottsdale Police Department. The meeting was recorded.
"An independent investigation sustained allegations against Chief Sheridan regarding untruthfulness and false statements," stated one unidentified voice during the meeting.
"I'm friends with Jerry Sheridan, you know, through work. But I have questions. But I don't know if I should even be weighing in on this," stated an unidentified board member.
"We'll table this case until which time we have a quorum," stated another voice.
According to the AZ POST director, the board never had the quorum necessary to bring the case back before Sheridan's certification lapsed.
A sheriff does not need POST certification in Arizona. Police, deputies, and other state and local law enforcement officers are required to be certified.
Sheridan did not respond to requests for comment, but in the past, he has stated that he never intentionally violated the federal judge's order.