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January 14, 2015

Ariz. County Ends Officials' Unregulated Gifts to Nonprofits

The Pima County, Ariz., Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to end a longstanding practice of allowing members to donate money from their office budgets to charities and other outside agencies without oversight, the Arizona Daily Star reports. The new policy, approved unanimously, takes effect July 1 and will subject contributions proposed by the elected supervisors to a review process similar to that for regular county grants.

"It needs to be transparent and it needs to be open," Supervisor Ramón Valadez said of the donation procedure. Supervisor Ally Miller, who first raised the issue with the board in October, had called for eliminating such spending outright, saying, "Acting in any way other gives the appearance that we may be in it for personal gain." She noted that other Arizona counties do not allow elected policymakers to spend office funds on donations.