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Maricopa County Sheriff Settles With Association Leader

Posted on Friday, November 01, 2002 at 12:00PM

Since 2000, former Deputies Law Enforcement Association (DLEA) President Steve Barnes has been involved in litigation over his constructive discharge and the discriminatory conduct of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. After extreme discovery, motions and trial preparation, a settlement was reached between the parties.

DLEA attorney Michael Napier says, “Steve’s claim survived a Motion for Summary Judgment by the Sheriff and was set for trial early next year.”

Steve’s case has been financially supported by the DLEA and the Legal Defense Fund of the Arizona Police Association (APA-LDF). Without the assistance of the APA-LDF, pursuit of this claim would have been prohibitively expensive to both Steve and the DLEA. The financial assistance of APA-LDF was vital to the prosecution of this claim.

Arizona Police Association (APA) Executive Director Sam Wooldridge says, “This is a victory for Steve and the DLEA, and it is a big step forward for the law enforcement labor movement in Arizona.”

In his complaint, Steve charged that Sheriff Arpaio and Chief Deputy David Hendershott had initiated investigations following his interview by the FBI which was looking into conduct at the Sheriff’s Office. It was also alleged that Arpaio and Hendershott set out to discredit and destroy Steve because of their belief he had made statements to the press which were adverse to the Office.

The settlement is to remain confidential at the request of the Sheriff, so Steve and his attorney Mr. Napier were not able to discuss the specific amount of the settlement.

PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.