Sheriff Joe Arpaio Using Taxpayer-Funded deputy To “Escalate” Birther Probe in Hawaii

By Wonda J

The crazy birther nonsense shift to a higher level in Arizona as Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s volunteer investigation into documents pertaining to President Barack Obama’s residency status, now includes the services of a taxpayer-funded deputy, according to Arpaio.

TPM Muckraker Nick Martin said it best: Not to be outdone by the Arizona secretary of state’s recent flirtation with birtherism, Sheriff Joe Arpaio escalated his probe into President Obama’s birth certificate this week by dispatching a deputy from his “threats unit” to Hawaii.

The deputy joined Mike Zullo, a volunteer member of Arpaio’s cold-case posse, in Hawaii this week in part due to “security issues,” according to Arpaio, and because the investigation has progressed.

“It’s one deputy, so what? We have security issues, too, that I can’t got into,” Arpaio said on Friday. “For six months we were not spending any money. When you’re doing investigations sometimes things change, you put more resources into it.”

The cold-case posse has spent about $40,000 on the investigation so far, according to the Sheriff’s Office.Earlier this year, the Arizona sheriff fanned the flames of the birther conspiracy theory when he announced that Zullo and other posse members had determined a copy of the birth certificate released last year by the White House was a fraud. More recently, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has said he is following the sheriff’s lead and considering keeping the president off the state’s ballot in November unless he gets confirmation the document is real.

Both Arpaio and Bennett are Republicans and the latter is co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Arizona. In their efforts, they have essentially caved to pressure from a small but vocal fringe of writers and activists unwilling to believe the president is a natural born citizen of the United States no matter how much evidence they get. The conspiracy theorists say a fake birth certificate would mean Obama is ineligible for the presidency because it would show he was not born a citizen.

The Star-Advertiser reported that Zullo and Mackiewcz flashed badges on Monday when they showed up at the Hawaii Department of Health. Mackiewcz apparently also handed over a business card showing he is part of the Arizona sheriff’s “Threats Management Unit.”

Arpaio was under investigation for heavy, blatant and systematic racial profiling for 2 years before he was finally charge by the Justice Department earlier this month.

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