The investigations and lawsuits are part of an ongoing feud between departments of Maricopa County government—the Board of Supervisors and the offices of the county attorney and sheriff—provoked initially by the Board of Supervisors' 2008 decision to cut the budgets of the county attorney and the sheriff. The sheriff and county attorney responded with allegations of racketeering, and the ensuing legal battles are expected to continue into 2013. The costs of the investigations and litigation have already surpassed the budgets of several Maricopa County departments.
"It's bad behavior that seems to have no public interest attached to it," Chamberlin told AZCentral. "It's eating up money at a time when budgets are being cut, and people think there are much better uses of the funds."