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Arizona ACLU Awarded Some Attorney's Fees In Ongoing MSCO Racial Profiling Case

A federal judge last week awarded about half of the fees requested by the plaintiffs and ACLU of Arizona in a long-running racial profiling case against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

The fees cover time spent by plaintiff attorneys during work monitoring the Sheriff’s Office, among other things.

Originally, the ACLU of Arizona requested about $1.2 million to cover the latest work. Judge Murray Snow decided some work was duplicative, as well as poorly recorded, and awarded the plaintiffs about $743,000 in fees to be paid by the county.

Kathy Brody is the legal director for ACLU of Arizona.

“The main point that I took from Judge Snow’s order is that we, as the lawyers for the plaintiff’s class, could do a better job of organizing our presentation about why we’re entitled to fees,” she said.

The judge also said the local ACLU would bring up to four lawyers to meetings, creating an "arms race of attorneys."

The original racial profiling lawsuit led to court-imposed changes at the Sheriff’s Office.

Brody said the bulk of fees are related to monitoring the Sheriff’s Office’s compliance with the court orders.

“You can see that it’s a significant cut to what we asked for and that is disappointing," she said. "But we understand Judge Snow’s concerns that he raised in his order.”

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.