Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Arizona Sheriff Questions Obama’s Birth Certificate, Critics Question Priorities

Audio

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio questioned the validity of President Obama's birth certificate at press conference Thursday. The sheriff's critics blasted the presentation, which took place during an election year and amid a federal investigation into civil rights allegations in Arpaio's department.

— Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio questioned the validity of President Obama's birth certificate at press conference Thursday. The sheriff's critics blasted the presentation, which took place during an election year and amid a federal investigation into civil rights allegations in Arpaio's department.

The sheriff’s volunteer Cold Case Posse headed up the investigation. This is after 250 members of the Surprise Tea Party petitioned the sheriff to look into the validity of the president’s birth certificate. Sheriff Arpaio announced he suspects forgery and fraud.

"I’m considering asking the Hawaii authorities to look into this, but as my investigators and I feel – will they really do it?" Arpaio said.

In fact, Hawaiian authorities have been asked to look into this for years. Obama responded last April by posting his birth certificate on the White House’s website, which has been recognized as an official document from the Hawaii Department of Health.

Arpaio will face two challengers to his seat as sheriff of Arizona's largest county this November. One of them – Paul Penzone – criticizes the sheriff for making time to investigate the president’s documents, when his office ignored other investigations, like the sex crimes in El Mirage in the mid-2000s.

"The sheriff’s statement were an insult to law enforcement, and a slap in the face to the victims in this community who his office failed to serve when they were victimized," Penzone said.

Scottsdale Police Lt. Mike Stauffer is also running for Maricopa County Sheriff this year. He noted that Thursday’s press conference coincided with this week’s court appearance of Joel Fox -- the former Sheriff’s captain who is accused of money laundering during the sheriff’s 2008 campaign, and may now be under a federal investigation of his own.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.