Following a statement of his strong commitment to the posse system, new sheriff of Maricopa County Paul Penzone said in a news conference, that he will identify those that do not meet the mission of the organization, and in particular the “Cold Case Posse is disbanded.” Penzone indicated that the member(s) of that group will be notified.
I don’t think politically motivated sham investigations outside of its jurisdiction should be the mission of anything associated with law enforcement. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Questions have surrounded the CCP since it became involved in Arpaio’s birth certificate investigation, particularly regarding financial oversight. The Posse is a 501(c)(3) but it reports its activities to no one, not the IRS and not the Sheriff’s Office. How much was spent on con men and junkets has not been accounted for publicly. One news report mentioned a $40,000 number attributed to the Sheriff’s Office, and $10,000 came out in an email disclosed during the Melendres case. Those came before Zullo’s relationship with the Italian forensic laboratory. In an official filing, the CCP stated:
Maricopa County Arizona is definitely a governmental unit and since we are it affiliates again that requirement of filing said form does not apply to us.
However, when I contacted the Sheriff’s Office to obtain the oversight records, they said:
The Sheriff’s Office is in no way involved in the day to day financial dealings of any posse that works under the authority of the Sheriff. … They conduct their own fundraising and handle their own financial matters completely separate from the Sheriff’s Office.
Thanks, Paul, for a nice going-away present. I wish you and the people of Maricopa County the best going forward.
The Cold Case Posse as a corporation apart from the Sheriff’s Office still exists as long as they continue to file the paperwork with the State of Arizona. Their web site shut down some time before November 15 last year, but the MCSOCCP.org domain was inexplicably renewed until December 9, 2017. [Update: Renewed through 12/9/2018] [Update: currently set to expire Feb 24, 2019.]
H/t to CarlOrcas.