Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone discusses reasons he’s leaving office early

Oct 12, 2023, 10:00 AM

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announces that he will step down in January 2024, a year befor...

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced that he will step down in January 2024, a year before his second term ends, during an Oct. 2, 2023, press conference in Phoenix, Arizona. (KTAR News Photo/Balin Overstolz-McNair)

(KTAR News Photo/Balin Overstolz-McNair)

PHOENIX – In his first interview since announcing he was leaving office early, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said Thursday that a combination of things led to the decision.

Penzone revealed during an Oct. 2 press conference that he will step down in January, a year before his current term ends.

“There’s so many facts to it; the majority are all good,” Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News. “It’s been an incredible privilege. Nearly finishing two terms as sheriff was nothing I ever expected in my bucket list, or anywhere else. I felt like we accomplished a lot.”

Without specifying his next move, Penzone said there are other opportunities he wants to pursue at this stage of his life.

“I also want open the door for the next person up to come in and make even more improvements and do more for the men and women of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.”

Who does Sheriff Penzone think should replace him?

Penzone has talked to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors about choosing a successor, but he said he won’t be “too involved” in the process.

However, he would like to see someone from within the agency get the job.

“This is a situation where you’re kind of maintaining what exists until the next sheriff is selected in the election, so I think it should be somebody inside,” he said.

“I think it’s going to give the men and women the sense of comfort that this person already knows what they’re doing, knows the people, understands the circumstances and kind of keep things moving forward.”

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Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone discusses reasons he’s leaving office early