The hidden database contained payroll logs that detailed staff assignments and payments which were different than the staff assignments and payments reported in the official county-run database, they said.
"They've developed a system that basically tracks where they are working versus where they are being paid, and they did not update the official database, which led to the potential problems," Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson told The Arizona Republic. "I think they deliberately hid this info from us."
A spokesman for the Sheriff's Office denied any intention of hiding information from the county and blamed the duplicate payrolls on a lack of compatible technology between the Sheriff's Office and county agencies.
In September, Maricopa County officials reported that Arpaio's office misspent up to $80 million in funds over five years to pay his employees working in patrol, human-smuggling operations and investigative units. The voter-approved money was restricted by law to detention operations such as food, detention officers' salaries, and equipment.
"It appears that [the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office] violated the intent and explicit language of the voter approved jail tax when they used that money to fund activities not related to jail operations," a press release said. "Maricopa County will have to pay back the restricted funds to the detention fund. This is a misuse of public funds."