On August 19, 2016, the Honorable G. Murray Snow, United States District Judge, issued an Order Reference Criminal Contempt concerning Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, Chief Deputy Gerard Sheridan and Captain Steve R. Bailey. Since that order was released, the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZ POST) Board has received several media inquiries into what actions, if any, AZ POST will be taking concerning the referral of Judge Snow.
The AZ POST Board may deny, suspend, revoke or cancel the certification of an officer who is not in compliance with the standards established pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute and Arizona Administrative Code. AZ POST has jurisdiction over the certification of Chief Deputy Sheridan and Captain Bailey. However, Arizona Revised Statutes and Arizona Administrative Code specifically exempt an elected Sheriff.
AZ POST Executive Director Jack G. Lane determined that the order by Judge Snow is sufficient to support AZ POST opening independent investigations concerning the actions of Chief Deputy Sheridan and Captain Bailey. Since the order refers these matters to the U.S. Attorney's Office for potential criminal proceedings, Executive Director Lane directed AZ POST staff to place the cases on a hold status until such time the criminal matters are resolved to avoid any potential interference an administrative investigation or action might cause an active criminal matter.
Director Lane also stated that it would be inappropriate for AZ POST to comment further on this matter until each of these individuals have an opportunity to exercise their due process rights should the board initiate proceedings against their peace officer certifications.