An Arizona judge ruled Monday that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has not complied with the state records law – the second time in a week Sheriff Joe Arpaio has lost a records battle with a newspaper.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Charles V. Harrington awarded the Tucson Citizen more than $25,000 in attorney fees. The court found the sheriff’s office violated the law by delaying a records request the paper submitted in July and received in December. The sheriff’s office is planning to appeal the ruling.
Last week, An Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Arpaio didn’t respond quickly enough to several record requests the Phoenix New Times submitted, the majority of which were delayed more than 100 days. The court sent the case back to the lower court to determine whether the paper will receive legal fees.
The Tucson Citizen requested documents from the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office regarding a dispute between the two last spring. The agencies had disagreed over how to prosecute an online gambling ring and how to split $30 million in assets seized in the investigations.