AZ Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio Charged Luxury Trips To County, Misused Up To $80 Million

At a time when Arizona currently faces a projected budget deficit of $1 billion dollars, a state budget office shows that Arpaio's Office Charged Luxury Trips To County, Misused Up To $80 Million. TPMMuckraker citing  a report issued by The Maricopa County Office of Management and Budget notes:

A further review found that misspending dated back to at least 2006 at a rate of $16 million per year and that retroactively, Apraio's office may have misspent up to $80 million.

But that's not all excerpts of the reports, obtained by TPMMuckraker, show:

Officials from Arpaio's office made trips to:  Orlando, D.C., Honduras, Tempe, Belize, Alaska and Puerto Rico on the county's dime

Racked up other questionable expenses, like: $741 at Sardella's Pizza and Wings.

The county was also charged: $350 for a hotel room upgrade for one official's spouse.

One employee: went on multiple extradition trips without submitting receipts for the $62,750 he or she spent -- including $1,341 on Disney World Yacht Club Resort food and entertainment.

Others expenses charged to the county according to the report include: $1,684 for a portable generator for parade lights on an army tank; $635 at Buca di Beppo when members of the Honduran National Police were in town; and $500 on a carriage ride.

It would seem that Sherriff Joe was using funds designated for prison's to pay for his staffs lavish expenses and vacations:

Jail operations are funded by an exclusive tax levy -- passed in a voter referendum in 1998 -- and are supposed to be distinct from the sheriff's office's funds. County officials charge that Arpaio's office allegedly used the jail operations funds for sheriff's office expenses -- such as salaries for deputies who worked on public-corruption investigations into county supervisors and judges.

The money in the fund was meant to be used to build a brand new prison, despite the fact that these funds have been misused, the prison still has to be built, which would put AZ taxpayers on the hook for around 64 million:

General funds from the county may have to be used to pay as much as $64 million back to the jail operations budget.