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Judge Selects Monitor To Oversee MCSO

Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office were assigned a monitor by a federal judge.
(Photo courtesy of KJZZ file footage)
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office were assigned a monitor by a federal judge.

A federal judge has selected an independent monitor to oversee Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s compliance with a court order to prevent racial profiling. The new appointee is a veteran law enforcement professional with monitoring experience.

After Judge Murray Snow found last year that sheriff’s deputies had engaged in a pattern of racial profiling against Latino drivers, he ordered a series of department changes, including the appointment of an independent monitor to ensure they happen. His pick is Robert Warshaw, a former deputy drug czar under President Clinton. Warshaw has served as the independent monitor for police departments in the cities of Oakland, Niagra Falls and Detroit. Warshaw was nominated by the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit. Dan Pochoda is ACLU of Arizona’s legal director.

"After doing significant diligance and interviewing many folks including Mr. Warshaw, we felt he was highly qualified and would bring to this difficult job much experience and ability and be a good person to ensure compliance," said Pochoda.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attorney Tom Liddy said the sheriff’s office would work with the monitor, though the sheriff’s office is also appealing the order.

"We are appealing the decision and the order. I’m not here today to discuss with you which of the many areas in the 59-page order that we are going to focus on in that appeal, we are in the process of doing that analysis," Liddy said.

The court order also requires the sheriff’s office to go through new training, collect data from traffic stops and install video cameras on deputy vehicles, among other changes.

Updated 1/17/2014 5:05 p.m.

Jude Joffe-Block was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2010 to 2017.