/ Modified mar 21, 2018 5:26 p.m.

Supervisors Table Drug Trafficking Grant

Board Democrats decide not to vote to accept grant until they feel conditions for Operation Stonegarden are met.

Pima County Board of Supervisors hero The Pima County Board of Supervisors at a March 20, 2018 meeting.
Zac Ziegler/AZPM

A federal grant that pays for Pima County Sheriff Department to take part in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program has been put on hold until county supervisors feel conditions that were set when the board accepted funds for another federal grant for local law enforcement have been met.

Supervisor Ramon Valadez asked that the HIDTA grant be tabled because he does not think conditions he set for the acceptance of $1.4 million in Operation Stonegarden grants have been met yet.

"I don't like making decisions in an absolute vacuum where I don't know as much as I can know, so that's why I tabled it and made it contingent on learning about those five conditions."

Valadez set the conditions when the supervisors reversed course and approved the grants on Feb. 20.

The supervisors had originally voted to not accept Stonegarden money at a Feb. 6 meeting. Valadez voted against accepting the grants the first time, and in favor of accepting the second time.

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier said he thinks the conditions, which include new written policies for the department, are already in place.

"I think maybe it was a communication problem," he said. "I also think that, to some degree, the fact that we have written a policy was not the drive. It's that there are certain factions that want the policy to say very specific things."

The HIDTA grant would award the department $363,000 in federal money and an additional $64,000 in matching money from the county's general fund.

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