SHERIFF'S ELIGIBILITY POSSE' SPARKS MEDIA WHIRLWIND
|Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Photo: Gage Skidmore)|
As WND reported, Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio responded to concerns from tea-party activists in his county by forming a volunteer posse to investigate whether the purported Hawaiian birth certificate Obama released to the public on April 27 is a forgery.
Arpaio says that since WND ran its story, he has been inundated with media inquiries, including invitations to appear on national TV news programs.
The story has since been picked up by the Washington Post, Phoenix Business Journal, Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV-TV, KTVK-TV in Phoenix, , the national news websites Daily Caller, Talking Points Memo and Newser, and the grocery-store tabloid Globe.
Mainstream media bloggers have also picked up the story, including Sarah Anne Hughes of the Washington Post and the staff of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Left-leaning political blogs like Salon, Slate, Mother Jones and Think Progress have also publicized the story, though harshly critical of the sheriff's actions.
"This investigation does not involve politics," Arpaio told WND. "I listen to all the residents of Maricopa County who come to my office with complaints, regardless what their politics are."
The posse Arpaio has formed will report back to the sheriff, who will then decide whether or not to act on its findings.
"They're looking into it to see if there is any smoke there," Arpaio told KTVK-TV. "Once they're done, I'll look at it and see if there's any jurisdiction that I have, as a county sheriff. If I feel there isn't, maybe I'll give it to other authorities in the state."
The station's reporter asked Arpaio if he believes the president's birth certificate is fraudulent.
"I don't know because I haven't looked at it," Arpaio said. "I'm not going to spend hours and hours looking at volumes of information. Give it to them, they're not being paid, they're doing it for nothing."
Arpaio explained to WND that there are over 3,000 people who participate in his office's volunteer posse program, but he has assigned a select, 5-person group under the "Cold Case Posse" to undertake the Obama birth certificate investigation.
The Cold Case Posse consists of volunteers with professional experience in conducting investigations, including individuals chosen because of their professional backgrounds in law enforcement, as well as lawyers who have participated in criminal or civil cases and individuals with specialized skills in fields ranging from accounting to conducting criminal forensic examinations.
Sources within the sheriff's office explained to WND that the Cold Case Posse has been constituted as a 501(c)3 organization – separately organized within the 3,000-member volunteer posse – enabling people from around the country to contribute to its mission.