/ Modified mar 11, 2021 4:50 p.m.

Contempt hearing sought against Joe Arpaio’s successor

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone accused of non-compliance

Paul Penzone Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone in Phoenix, April 2018.
Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Civil rights lawyers are seeking a civil contempt of court hearing against metro Phoenix’s sheriff for a backlog of 2,000 internal affairs investigations each taking an average of 500 days to complete.

Sheriff Paul Penzone is the second Maricopa County sheriff to be accused of noncompliance in a racial profiling case in which a judge ordered an overhaul to the agency’s much-criticized internal affairs operations.

Penzone's predecessor, Joe Arpaio, was found to be in contempt for ignoring a 2011 order in the profiling case, but his criminal contempt conviction was pardoned by then-President Donald Trump.

Penzone’s office declined to comment on the contempt

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