Update: AZPOST has sent letters to MCSO Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan and Captain Steve Bailey notifying them it has opened investigations into their peace officer certification.
PHOENIX – The agency that certifies and decertifies police officers in Arizona has opened its own investigations of embattled MCSO chief deputy Jerry Sheridan and captain Steve Bailey following a scathing order issued by United States District Judge Murray Snow. Their boss, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is exempt because he’s an elected official.
Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board executive director Jack Lane said Judge Snow’s order that came out late Friday was “sufficient” to support his agency opening independent investigations concerning the actions of Sheridan and Bailey.
However, since the judge referred the case against the three officials to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution for allegedly violating a court order prohibiting racial profiling, Lane says he directed staff members to put the cases against Sheridan and Bailey on “hold status” until the criminal matters are resolved. He says this is to, “avoid any potential interference an administrative investigation or action might cause an active criminal matter.”
Sheridan was found in civil contempt in May.
Bailey, on the other hand was referred for allegedly failing to disclose the existence of 1,459 ID cards that had been seized and misstating facts to a court-appointed monitor.
When the cases are no longer in a holding pattern, the independent investigations will focus on determining if Sheridan and Bailey engaged in any misconduct or violated AZPOST rules. The board could ultimately suspend or even revoke Sheridan and Bailey’s certification if they were to be found in non-compliance.
We emailed MCSO seeking comment from Sheridan and Bailey. This was the office’s response:
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has received your request for public records and is processing your request. All requests are processed in the order in which they are received, and no requests are prioritized by deadline date. Please understand that on average it takes us 4 to 8 weeks to process, redact, and prepare for release any records that are found in response to requests. Some requests, especially for new reports and large requests will take longer than 8 weeks. You will be notified once records are made available for you to pick up or if no records are found.