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June Court Date Set After Contempt Hearing Request Against Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

By Matthew Casey
Published: Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 10:31am
Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 10:51am

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The Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union months ago sought a contempt hearing in a long-running court case against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and this week the judge scheduled courtroom arguments in connection with the request.

Sheriff Paul Penzone has for years been under court order to revamp internal affairs.

Paul Penzone
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
Paul Penzone in 2017.

In March, the ACLU said the average time it takes the Sheriff’s Office to finish an internal investigation had ballooned to more than 550 days.

Lawyers for Penzone replied that the Sheriff’s Office was complying with required timelines by seeking timely extensions. But the court-ordered monitor retroactively changed their methodology last year.

Now the judge has chosen June 3 to hear from the ACLU, Justice Department and Penzone’s lawyers on whether sped-up discovery is necessary before a contempt hearing.

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