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'Tucson Citizen' Awarded $25,000 As Arizona Sheriff Loses Another Public Records Fight.

Tough guy Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona is on a public records losing streak.

On Monday, for the second time in less than a week, a court ruled against the Sheriff's Office, finding that it violated the Arizona Public Records law by delaying a documents request by the Tucson Citizen. Pima County Superior Court Judge Charles V. Harrington awarded the paper $25,241 in lawyers fees.

The ruling, reported in The Arizona Republic by Michael Kiefer, revolved around the Citizen's investigation into a dispute between the Pima County Attorney's Office and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The entities feuded last spring over how to prosecute an online gambling ring, and how to split some $30 million in assets seized in the raids.

The Citizen in July asked for copies of the letters sent by both sides. The paper didn't receive them until December.

Last Tuesday, the Maricopa Sheriff's Office lost a similar case, when the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the office had not turned over public records in a timely manner to the alternative weekly New Times in Phoenix. The court sent the case back to a lower court to assess lawyers fees.

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Publication:Editor & Publisher
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U8AZ
Date:Feb 12, 2008
Words:198
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