Maricopa County supervisors start sheriff search after accepting Penzone’s resignation
Jan 10, 2024, 5:00 PM
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
PHOENIX — Paul Penzone’s resignation was accepted Wednesday, clearing the way for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to begin the search for an interim sheriff.
Under state law, Chief Deputy Sheriff Russ Skinner will fill the role until the board makes an appointment. Skinner will take over following Penzone’s final day on Friday.
“I would like to thank Sheriff Penzone for going above and beyond to keep Maricopa County residents safe,” Chairman Jack Sellers said in a press release. “In particular, I appreciate his collaboration on security matters related to elections.”
What’s the process for filling the interim Maricopa County sheriff role?
Sheriff candidates will have until Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. to submit their application for the position.
Candidates must be a Democrat since that was Penzone’s party affiliation. They must also be a resident of Maricopa County.
Applicants need to send their letters of interest along with a resume to the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 301 W. Jefferson St., 10th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003, or email it to ClerkBoard@maricopa.gov.
Whoever is appointed to the role will serve in it until a new sheriff is elected in November.
Why did Penzone step down early as Maricopa County sheriff?
Penzone is going to work for Blue Cross Blue Shield after his seven-year run. He will be in charge of the insurer’s community programs and charitable giving.
Penzone said talks with Blue Cross Blue Shield initially involved security aspects before evolving.
“They’ve given me an amazing opportunity, and it’s a great organization,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News last month.
Penzone, when he announced his departure on Oct. 2, said at the time he was stepping down to pursue opportunities to serve the public in different ways.
His résumé includes 21 years with the Phoenix Police Department and a stint as vice president of Childhelp, a nonprofit dedicated to the treatment and prevention of child abuse.
Penzone was first elected sheriff in 2016, ousting longtime Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and won a second term in 2020.