New Maricopa County Sheriff Selection Process Underway as Paul Penzone Announces Departure

Maricopa County, AZ – In a surprising turn of events, Sheriff Paul Penzone has announced that he will step down from his position in January and not seek re-election for a third term. The news caught county officials off guard and has prompted the need for a new county sheriff. However, the process for selecting a successor remains unclear at this time.

County supervisors, who are no strangers to filling vacant elected positions, will now face the challenge of appointing a new sheriff. In the past year alone, they have had to appoint several state lawmakers, including senators and representatives. Now, they will need to follow a similar process to select a new sheriff for Maricopa County.

According to county spokesperson Fields Moseley, the specific selection process is determined by the board and has varied over the years. In previous appointments, applicants were required to submit letters of interest, resumes, letters of recommendation, and fill out a questionnaire. Those who made it through this initial screening were then invited for interviews with the board.

County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, the only Democrat on the board, expressed his desire to find a candidate with extensive law enforcement experience who will not only be an effective candidate but also address the ongoing issues faced by the Sheriff’s Office. One of the most significant challenges is the department’s noncompliance with court orders stemming from a class-action lawsuit that found racial profiling of Latino drivers. The county has already spent over $250 million in legal fees related to this case.

Additionally, the next sheriff will inherit the responsibility of managing the county’s troubled jail system, which has been plagued with low staffing and drug overdoses. They will also play a crucial role in ensuring election security during a time when Arizona, and Maricopa County in particular, is expected to have closely contested elections.

As the selection process gets underway, Sheriff Penzone has expressed his interest in having a say in choosing his successor, and Supervisor Gallardo agrees that his voice should be heard. Community input will also be sought to ensure the public’s trust in the chosen candidate.

While the details of the selection process are yet to be determined, one thing is clear – the next sheriff of Maricopa County will face numerous challenges and must be prepared to tackle them head-on.


1. When will Sheriff Paul Penzone step down?

Sheriff Paul Penzone will be stepping down in January and will not seek a third term as Maricopa County sheriff.

2. Who will be responsible for selecting the new sheriff?

The Maricopa County supervisors will be tasked with selecting a new sheriff for the county.

3. What qualifications is Supervisor Steve Gallardo looking for in the new sheriff?

Supervisor Steve Gallardo is seeking a candidate with ample law enforcement experience who will be an effective candidate for the position.

4. What are some of the challenges the new sheriff will face?

The new sheriff will need to address the ongoing noncompliance with court orders, manage the troubled jail system, and ensure election security in Maricopa County.

5. Will Sheriff Paul Penzone have any input in the selection process?

Sheriff Paul Penzone has expressed his interest in having a say in choosing his successor, and Supervisor Gallardo agrees that his voice should be heard.