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County officials give back part of paychecks

Two county officials in southern Arizona are giving a percentage of their salaries back to the county as it faces a yawning budget deficit.

Santa Cruz precinct Judge Keith Barth of Sonoita tells the Nogales International newspaper that he has given 2½ percent of his $61,000 salary to his office petty cash fund since the beginning of the year.

And county recorder Suzanne Sainz began giving 5 percent of her $63,800 salary to the county general fund this month. County finance Director Jennifer St. John says Sainz delivered a $250 check to the department April 12.

Barth says county officials need to set the example because “it’s the right thing to do.”

Deputy County Manager Carlos Rivera says Barth takes the money out of his paycheck every payday.

Rivera says the state sets the salaries for elected officials, so the county can’t deduct the amount the official wants to donate.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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