Sheriff Joe Arpaio is in a huff today, after the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors refused to license a new jail bus he bought without their consent.
"Since the county, because of their personal agenda, refused to buy [the bus], we bought [it out of the] Jail Enhancement Fund," Arpaio says. "I had the authority to use the funds the way I see fit."
The bus, which cost about $430,000, is an improved version of five buses currently in use by the sheriff that are only approved for short trips.
Prison officials consider Arpaio's new inmate ship the most state-of-the-art way to transport criminals, but because of the licensing issue with the county, the bus is yet to be used.
County Manager David Smith says Arpaio was never authorized to buy the bus in the first place.
"[Arpaio] was obligated by the state Auditor General's guidelines to follow best procurement practices, which include competitive bidding. He simply didn't do it," Smith says.
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Arpaio says the buses used now are continually in the shop for repairs. Since the new bus was purchased three years ago, repairs to the old buses have cost taxpayers about $230,000.
Interesting; $230,000 for bus repairs? These are buses we're talking about, not the space shuttle, right?
Arpaio says Smith and the county are jeopardizing the public's safety by not licensing his office's newest mode of inmate transportation.
Speaking of public safety; isn't this the same guy who thinks transporting criminals via the light rail, alongside the general public, is a good idea? Just checking.