Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Goes After Obama Birth Certificate
Up for re-election, Arpaio launches "birther" investigation
Having gained national attention for his strict anti-immigration practices and racial profiling of Mexicans, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona is now pointing his target at President Obama. While the "birther" movement -- spearheaded by the Tea Party who called into question the validity of President Obama's American citizenship -- has quieted down since the Obama administration released his birth certificate to the public in April 2011, Arpaio is launching an investigation...now.
Some critics of the sheriff believe that he is doing this to secure votes for his re-election as he is seeking a 6th term. Others believe the media attention around this investigation is to cover up Arpaio's own legal troubles.
There is currently a federal grand jury investigation into Arpaio for:
- Criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009, focusing on the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.
- Racially profiling Latino, basing immigration enforcement on racially charged citizen complaints and punishing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish.
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Some critics are also calling for his resignation, claiming that under Arpaio the sheriff's office neglected to properly investigate over 400 sex crimes between 2005-2007.
During a press conference he called Thursday, Arpaio didn't address any of these claims but did state that he was going after President Obama but it wasn't personal.
"I'm not going after Obama," said Arpaio, whose had his the president's administration for cutting off his federal immigration powers taken away and is under investigation by the president's administration for civil rights violations. "I'm just doing my job."
"You say I need this to get elected? Are you kidding me? I've been elected five times. I don't need this," he said in a recent interview.