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Ex-finance officer says sheriff knew of spending

A former top finance official in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says Sheriff Joe Arpaio knew about financial problems within the agency for years.

Loretta Barkell disputes claims that Arpaio was unaware that misspending was taking place. Barkell told KPNX-TV she repeatedly warned Arpaio and former Chief Deputy David Hendershott that they could not use restricted jail funds for patrols, human-smuggling enforcement and public-corruption investigations.

Arpaio’s staff has agreed that $99.5 million in funds intended for jails was spent on other activities. County budget officials first suspected the financial problems in early 2010

Arpaio says he learned of the financial problems last year when Barkell and Hendershott brought the issue to his attention.

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