Arpaio security tab stretches to $120K in OT

Oct. 7, 2013 at 4:14 PM   |   Comments

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PHOENIX, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Arizona taxpayers have shelled out more than $120,000 in overtime pay in 12 months for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's security detail, records show.

Arpaio, a highly controversial lawman for his tough stance against illegal immigration and other issues, has regularly received death threats, prompting his department to use deputies to stand guard at public events -- but also at Arpaio's home, where critics said deputies under his charge are being paid overtime to sleep in a patrol car, The Arizona Republic reported Sunday.

Officials investigating the allegations said they could not find evidence for the sleeping-on-the-job allegations but acknowledged the costs associated with Arpaio's security detail have increased.

In June 2012, the department paid 120 overtime hours as a result of the detail. That rose to 600 overtime hours in June 2013.

Officials said that's because, while the overall number of death threats against Arpaio have decreased, the ones that persist are more serious in nature -- requiring a more intensive security plan.

From June 2012 to June 2013, the department paid $120,000 in overtime for Arpaio's detail. One deputy alone was paid $24,000 in overtime to protect the sheriff, the Republic said.

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