Deputy sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, appointed to lead department for the year

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The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Thursday appointed Deputy Sheriff Russ Skinner to serve as interim sheriff for the rest of the year.

Skinner was one of three finalists for the position. Voters will choose the next full-term sheriff in November’s general election.

Paul Penzone resigned last month after seven years as sheriff in Arizona’s most populous county, overseeing an agency of about 3,500 employees in metro Phoenix.

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The 56-year-old Penzone, a former Phoenix police officer, defeated longtime incumbent Joe Arpaio and was elected sheriff in 2016. Penzone was credited with ending some of Arpaio’s policies, which were widely criticized as anti-immigrant and racist.

Paul Penzone, who resigned as Sheriff of Maricopa County last month, is seen here at a press conference on Nov. 7, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Penzone had one year left on his second term and left to take a job outside of law enforcement.

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Candidates for the interim position were required by state law to live in the metro Phoenix county and be from the same registered political party as Penzone, who is a Democrat.

Skinner had been serving as acting sheriff after Penzone’s resignation went into effect Jan. 12.



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