A judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in a lawsuit brought by a Valley newspaper claiming the agency broke open records laws.
County Superior Court Judge Michael Jones rejected the claims of Phoenix New Times as "unsupported by anything other than argument and histrionics."
"The judge really hammered them," said Jack MacIntyre, the sheriff’s intergovernmental liaison.
Jones also ordered the New Times,published weekly, to pay the county the cost of defending the suit, not including attorney’s fees. The sheriff’s office did not have a cost figure on Thursday.
Rick Barrs, New Times editor, said the paper was considering an appeal.
The New Times asserted that Sheriff Joe Arpaio failed to honor 10 requests for records filed with his office under the Arizona Public Records Law.
Arpaio withheld the records to pay the newspaper back for an article critical of him, the New Times alleged.
Jones found that Arpaio produced all the requested records. He also found the copying fees the New Times was charged were reasonable.