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Sheriff Penzone Gives Public Apology For Leaving Community Meeting Early

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
file | staff
Paul Penzone

Leaving a community meeting tied to a long-running racial profiling case landed Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone in hot water with a federal judge last year.

Penzone gave a public apology Wednesday night at the first meeting this year to give updates on efforts by the Sheriff’s Office to carry out court orders to end racial profiling of Latinos.

The meeting had a presentation on anti-bias training at the Sheriff’s Office and questions from the audience. Then Penzone took the podium. He said he left the last community meeting in October for reasons he thought were right.

“It was never intended to be an insult. Nor was it intended to avoid any needs of the community," said Penzone, before pausing for the Spanish translator.

“So I would just offer that I apologize that my judgment in that decision, in hindsight, should have been more thoughtful,” he continued. 

Penzone has taken steps to run for reelection in November.  

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.