Sheriff's Office Hiring Questioned

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DENVER (AP) -- The Justice Department says it will monitor the hiring practices of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office after an investigation showed the office was improperly disqualifying applicants who weren't United States citizens.

The Denver Post reports the federal investigation came after a senior deputy, Teresa Garcia, claimed in a lawsuit she was fired because the sheriff's office couldn't confirm her citizenship. She was later reinstated after proving her citizenship.

But the Justice Department says hiring restrictions based on citizenship status must be the result of law or government mandate, not internal policies.

Sheriff Grayson Robinson says he won't object to the random audits and inspections, but he denied the office did anything wrong.

He says "we were always under the impression we could require proof of citizenship for people to serve as peace officers."