Bill Montgomery is the Maricopa County Attorney. (credit: Gage Skidmore)

On Wednesday, an Arizona county attorney's office announced that it will immediately halt "providing iPhones as an option for replacement or upgrades for existing employees," citing the current legal battle between Apple and the Department of Justice.

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook again reiterated the company’s firm commitment to privacy and its resolve to fight a new court order issued earlier this month. If the order stands up to legal challenges, Apple would be forced to create a new customized iOS firmware that would remove the passcode lockout on a seized iPhone as part of the ongoing San Bernardino terrorism investigation.

Maricopa County, the nation’s fourth most populous county, which encompasses Phoenix and the surrounding area, is also well-known for its very conservative sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

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