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Maricopa County supervisors to hold interviews for final interim sheriff candidates

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced last October that he would be stepping down from his position a year before his terms was up in order to pursue "other opportunities."

When he stepped down in January, the county began accepting applications for an interim sheriff to fill the role until the end of the current term, which ends in 2025.

The three final candidates are Jeffrey Kirkham, Patrick Valenzuela and Russ Skinner, who is currently filling the position.

Jeffrey Kirkham is currently serving as the commander of the Apache Junction Police Department and has been serving in law enforcement in Arizona since 1985.

Patrick Valenzuela is currently in the role of police sector lieutenant for the Glendale Police Department and has been with the department for 28 years.

Russ Skinner has been in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office for 34 years and served as Chief Deputy under Penzone when he held the position.

As of now, there is no timeline for how quickly the Board of Supervisors will make a decision, but it is a "top priority," according to a spokesperson for Maricopa County.

Nate Engle was an intern at KJZZ in 2024.