Maricopa County board votes to settle DOJ lawsuits

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to settle parts of a lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and MCSO.

The Department of Justice filed the lawsuit against MCSO and Arpaio in 2012. The settlement doesn't cover the racial profiling allegations against the Sheriff.

Arpaio is not commenting, but Maricopa County Supervisors who approved the settlement say it is a step in the right direction. The board voted unanimously to approve the settlement, which covers three parts of the lawsuit.

"I think it is a win in terms of the taxpayers do not have to burden the expense of a very expensive trial, but at the same time it's important to know we should never have been in this position," said County Supervisor Steve Gallardo.

Gallardo says the settlement deals with allegations that Arpaio illegally retaliated against critics, did not provide language interpreters in jail, and discriminated against Latino's during workplace raids.

"Many of the items have already been taken care of with the sheriff's office, this is putting them in writing, but it also adds some oversight," said Gallardo.

The settlement does not include any monetary damages, but it does mean changes to policies and training. Arpaio is prohibited from retaliating against critics and the DOJ will have some oversight.

"If the Sheriff's Office wants to engage in workplace raids they need to go to the DOJ and let them know," said Gallardo.

Gallardo thinks the settlement could have had more teeth. It doesn't require Arpaio to admit guilt and it doesn't mandate a court-appointed monitor.

"The biggest surprise with what the DOJ agreed to. I was expecting them to agree or demand more in terms of oversight," he said.

FOX 10 reached out to the DOJ for comment, but they have not responded.

Arpaio is due in court on August 10 to face allegations that his office racially profiled Latino's during traffic stops.

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