Tom Horne's Cash for Colorado City Policing Set to Run Out, So Taxpayers Might Foot the Bill
It turns out that Attorney General Tom Horne won't continue to use his office's funds to pay the Mohave County Sheriff's Office for extra patrols in the area, after a bill that attempts to deal with the situation in Colorado City was all but killed in the state Legislature.
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-Colorado City Sued by Justice Department; Warren Jeffs Still Running the Joint
Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services reports that Horne wants taxpayer coin for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office to patrol the town, as the money he provided last year is about to run out July 1, the beginning of the budget year.
The estimate is the same as this year's -- $420,000. Horne came up with that funding from Federal Asset Sharing, federal cash that had been seized from drug dealers and whatnot.
We e-mailed the AG's spokeswoman to see why that money doesn't exist for the upcoming year, so we'll update this post when we get a response.
Colorado City previously was patrolled only by the Marshal's Office, which is believed to be loyal to self-proclaimed prophet and convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs instead of the law, at least, according to Horne and a federal lawsuit from the the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, among others. The Mohave County Sheriff's Office now does patrols on top of the Marshal's Office, but has been paid by Horne's office to do so.
Republican Representative Michelle Ugenti proposed a bill this year -- similar to legislation proposed last session -- calling for local police departments to be dissolved if half of its police officers had their licenses taken away over the course of eight years. That happens to fit the description of the Marshal's Office (legislators have also cited the PD in Quartzsite), which would alleviate the need for the Sheriff's Office, presumably.
A neutered version of the bill passed the House, but it wasn't even heard in the Senate, thanks to Republican Senator Chester Crandell, Capitol Media Services reports.
So, now it looks like the state's taxpayers might be stuck with the bill, since legislators have now twice refused to do something about it.
That, or just leave the policing up to the Marshal's Office. If you don't know why that might be a bad idea, see the information on the next page.