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Updated Feb 11, 2013 - 6:47 pm

Understaffing cited in botched MCSO probes

PHOENIX — A report examining hundreds of sex-crimes cases that were
inadequately investigated or weren’t looked into at all by an Arizona sheriff’s
office attributes the failures to understaffing and mismanagement.

The mismanagement in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s sex-crimes squad
includes hundreds of pieces of evidence that weren’t put into evidence storage
and instead were left in offices or taken home by detectives.

The internal affairs investigation released Monday blamed officers for some
failures and noted that the sex-crimes squad was “overworked and
understaffed,” but on Monday rescinded letters threatening to discipline the
officers in question.

Arpaio apologized for the bungled cases and has since said his office has moved
to clear up the inadequately investigated cases and has taken steps to prevent
the problem from happening again.

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