County refuses funds for Sheriff Joe's Obama probe
Arpaio's posse wants to reimburse taxpayers for Hawaii trip
In a move described by Sheriff Joe Arpaio as political payback, the Maricopa County, Ariz., Board of Supervisors today rejected a $5,000 reimbursement from the sheriff’s volunteer Cold Case Posse for expenses incurred on a trip to Hawaii to investigate Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility.
“It’s sad that they use these politics to reject money,” Arpaio told WND. “I made the promise when I launched the investigation to do everything I can to not use taxpayer money.”
He confirmed his Cold Case Posse team would not be deterred by any disagreement over a donation, however.
“If they want to know what’s going on, there’s a press conference in three or four weeks,” he said.
“This is a criminal investigation,” Arpaio asserted. “You cannot have the board of supervisors interfere with the elected sheriff’s duties and responsibilities that he gets from the Constitution.”
The expenses incurred by the county were for a deputy who accompanied Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo for security purposes.
The reimbursement was rejected on a 2-2 vote, with the absence of Supervisor Fulton Brock.
The supervisors who voted to reject the funds were Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley, who both were subjects of sheriff’s investigations in the past and filed claims alleging wrongful prosecution, explained Arpaio spokeswoman Lisa Allen.
She said Wilcox and Stapley are hurting taxpayers and obstructing the sheriff’s efforts to keep his promise to taxpayers that funding for the Obama investigation be kept to a minimum. The supervisors who voted to accept the funds were Andy Kunasek and Max Wilson.
The posse announced in March it found probable cause that the image released in 2011 by the White House as birth documentation for Obama is a forgery.
Another news conference is scheduled in a few weeks, and the sheriff says there will be major additional revelations.
Arpaio’s investigation was launched at the request of constituents who feared that placement of Obama’s name on the state’s 2012 would constitute fraud if Obama were found to be ineligible.
Allen told WND that the supervisors who rejected the funds appeared to be following the lead of Randy Parraz, an anti-Arpaio activist who has lobbied the supervisors to oppose the sheriff.
About 30 members of Parraz’s group, Citizens for a Better Arizona, attended the meeting today to protest. The Arizona Republic newspaper reported the group asked the board not to accept private donations to “back fill” the sheriff’s use of public funds.
The protesters contended the investigation was “well outside the jurisdiction of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the duties and responsibilities of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
At the board meeting, Kunasek argued the supervisors and sheriff are elected separately, and supervisors should not determine which criminal investigations the sheriff pursues. Parraz responded at that point and yelled at Kunasek, accusing him of wasting taxpayer money.
Posse lead investigator Zullo told WND the Hawaii trip was all business.
“From my [motel] balcony I had a view of an alley, a check cashing place and a liquor store,” he said, noting the room cost only $129 per night, a low rate for most locations in Hawaii.
He said the investigation is important because it focuses a document that appears to be fraudulent, and people are wrongly injecting politics. He has told his team that it doesn’t matter whose name is on the document.
“We are trying to conduct an investigation with zero cost to the taxpayers,” he said. “They refused to take the money. We don’t understand how that helps the taxpayers.”
Zullo said the deputy was needed on the Hawaii trip because as a sworn officer, he was allowed to be armed, while investigators from the Cold Case Posse, as volunteers, were not.
After the investigative trip to Hawaii, WND reported an intelligence source who warned early last year that a forged Obama birth record would be released now says a forged “original” birth certificate intended to pass forensic inspection by using 1961 materials is being prepared and could be released as an “October surprise.”
The source, who has contact with Hawaii government officials, was questioned by Zullo, who said regardless of whether the Hawaii source’s information pans out, he wants to see the original microfilm record of Obama’s birth.
“If they decide to try to produce a document, we’re going to be skeptical,” he said. “We’ve been calling for the microfilm from the beginning.”
Arpaio has said he wants to see the entire roll of microfilm that contains Obama’s birth record and submit it to court-certified forensic examiners to determine its authenticity.
The Hawaii source said ink and paper from 1961 have been secured to create an “original” document that would correspond with the digital copy posted on the White House website.
As WND reported one year ago, radical supporters of Obama openly have admitted their role in the forging of a Kenyan Obama birth certificate.
The White House released a purported copy of Obama’s long-form birth certificate shortly after the Drudge Report prominently leaked details of WND Book’s then-upcoming expose “Where’s the Birth Certificate.”