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Saturday, August 15, 2009

O Arizona: Sheriff Joe's Henchman Defies Judge

Sheriff's Office defies judge on order for system password
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge on Friday ordered that the Sheriff's Office divulge the password it forcefully installed on a county computer system linked to sensitive state and federal criminal-justice data.

But Chief Deputy David Hendershott later said he will refuse to share the password - even if it means he goes to jail.

During the Friday hearing, Judge Joseph Heilman said that if the Sheriff's Office doesn't divulge the password by Wednesday, he will "hold someone in contempt of court."

"I assume it's going to be someone seated at this table," he added, referring to Hendershott.

Hendershott said he could not reveal the password under federal law. And if he goes to jail: "I bet I get a pretty decent place. Something with a view of the dump."

Heilman would not comment on the remark.

Since April, Heilman has presided over a lawsuit between the sheriff and the Board of Supervisors over operation of the Integrated Criminal Justice Information System, an electronic hub that allows the county's criminal-justice agencies to share information.

On Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office took control of the system from county employees and changed a password to prevent civilians from having access to the sensitive data.
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