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County officials mull abuse of power action in Arpaio suits

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pauses as he answers a question after announcing dozens of arrests in a prostitution sting during a news conference at Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Headquarters Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Phoenix. Maricopa County sheriff's deputies made dozens of arrests in the sting in which undercover officers posed as 16-year-old girls as men responded to an online ad. The investigation also resulted in numerous drug-related arrests. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pauses as he answers a question after announcing dozens of arrests in a prostitution sting during a news conference at Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Phoenix. Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies made dozens of arrests in the sting in which undercover officers posed as 16-year-old girls as men responded to an online ad. The investigation also resulted in numerous drug-related arrests. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County officials held a closed-door meeting Thursday to consider action in two lawsuits that accuse Sheriff Joe Arpaio of abusing his powers.

The officials didn’t take any action and plan to pick up the issue again Friday.

The county won’t reveal the action being considered in a lawsuit filed over unsuccessful criminal cases against ex-County Supervisor Don Stapley and another lawsuit over the 2007 arrest of two newspaper executives.

Stapley and other officials alleged they were targeted for investigation because they were at odds with Arpaio and others in disputes.

Arpaio contended his office was trying to root out corruption.

The newspaper executives’ lawsuit accuses Arpaio’s office of constitutional rights violations in the arrests of the two executives after the Phoenix New Times disclosed a secret grand jury subpoena.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

2 comments

  1. Time for term limits for County Sheriffs, County Attorneys and County Assessors.

    L.A. needs a better way to pick and keep tabs on its sheriff – latimes.com

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-sheriff-baca-commission-20140106,0,4746203.story

    “On Monday, a Los Angeles County employee got approval to begin circulating a petition for a statewide ballot initiative that would take another tack: imposing term limits on sheriffs (as well as district attorneys and assessors). As The Times’ editorial noted, Los Angeles County voters overwhelmingly adopted an initiative in 2002 to do just that, but Baca went to court and had it thrown out as unconstitutional. The new proposal would change the state Constitution instead of the county charter.

    Term limits, just like supermajority requirements, are anti-democratic in that they allow one generation of voters to limit the power and choices of future generations. But with Los Angeles County sheriff elections, we’re already dealing with a system in which traditional checks and balances don’t apply and the substance of democracy is compromised while the form lulls citizens, voters and taxpayers into believing all is working as it should. We can do better than term limits. But maybe we’re already doing worse.”

  2. Solution: TERM LIMITS! For ALL County Officials. Entrenched power = tyranny.

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