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Arpaio v. Obama, and other legal stuff

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has not been lucky with attorneys lately.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s office has been operating under a court-appointed monitor after it was determined that they were guilty of racial profiling. Judge Snow appointed Robert Warshaw as the monitor. According to the Greenfield Reporter,

Snow says he will have Robert Warshaw, who is monitoring the agency on the judge’s behalf, investigate any allegations that he feels the sheriff’s office isn’t examining in good faith.

Warshaw has said his team has never seen more unprofessional interviews than those conducted by Arpaio’s employees who are running the investigation.

Ouch! Judge Snow said in court yesterday (November 21) that Sheriff Joe could be held in contempt of court! Arpaio is appealing the decision by Snow, but he’s run into another snag: the attorney representing him wants out, citing ethics concerns, says the Associated Press:

A lawyer representing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a racial profiling case says legal ethics compel his firm to step aside.

As one might expect, no details of what the ethics concern is about were made public, although it was detailed in court filing earlier in the week.

The embattled sheriff is trying to take the offensive, by suing the President over his announced new immigration policy, reports Reuters:

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose force used racial profiling during a crackdown on illegal migrants last year according to a judge, said Obama has overstepped his powers by bypassing Congress and bringing in the changes himself.

I wonder who’s paying the legal bill, and who Arpaio could get to represent him in the case? The second question is easily answered from court filings: Larry E. Klayman. What is a little difficult for me as a layman to determine is whether Arpaio is suing as a private citizen, or as Sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio is described in the complaint caption as  “Elected SHERIFF of Maricopa County,” but the complaint does not use the phrase “in his official capacity,” nor does it suggest that the County is a party to the suit. It looks like Arpaio is suing as a private citizen, and that immediately raises the question of standing. In addressing the issue of standing, the complaint states:

27. Plaintiff Joe Arpaio is adversely affected and harmed in his office’s finances, workload, and interference with the conduct of his duties, but the failure of the executive branch to enforce existing immigration laws, but has been severely affected by increases in the influx of illegal aliens motivated by Defendant Obama’s policies of offering amnesty….

The other defendants are Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Leon Rodriquez, Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services and Eric Holder, Jr. Attorney General.

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Turning the tables: Investigating the Cold Case Posse

CBS 5 Investigates logo

Morgan Loew and the CBS 5 TV investigation team in Phoenix have been digging into the Cold Case Posse and the money trail. Tonight their story aired and it opens with a shocker:

After two years of denying he personally profited from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the validity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the head of the sheriff’s Cold Case Posse [Mike Zullo] admitted to CBS 5 Investigates that he accepted a large monetary gift from one of the sources in the investigation.

If Zullo had been a real law enforcement officer and someone related to an investigation gave him $10,000 for his personal use, I think most people would call it a bribe. But then Mike Zullo is not a real law enforcement officer and he is not bound by any legal or ethical rules in his attempts to get some dirt on President Obama. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office declined comment on whether they thought such a gift was proper.

The $10,000 came from someone whose name I didn’t immediately recognize, Bill Wolf, but it turns out that Wolf supplied not only money to Zullo, but was also a major source for investigative material. (Wolf was also a plaintiff in a 2011 lawsuit against Loretta Fuddy and the Hawaii Department of Health.) Zullo finally came clean about the money in a series of emails, linked from their story. Wolf is deceased, so we can’t ask him about any of this.

I thought the Morgan Loew story was very effective. Footage from the Joe Show corroborates Reilly’s claim on camera that this the birther investigation was all about getting campaign donations. It shows Zullo denying accepting money one day, and admitting it the next. It brings in the IRS loophole (what Reilly calls a “black hole’) that keeps their money off the books. It points out that even after Secretary of State Bennett authenticated the birth certificate, WorldNetDaily and the Cold Case Posse are still soliciting donations. For someone like me, the story had almost nothing new, but the report makes a strong case and this package on a major local news outlet must have appeared shocking to some folks in Phoenix.

Here’s the video:

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“I’m not a cop”

That’s what one Sun City posse member says in this video clip from “The Joe Show.” One of the most important jobs of the Sun City Posse is to check on peoples’ houses while they are on vacation.

I check the front door to make sure it’s locked. I rig the doorbell to make sure nobody’s home. I try the garage doors. If I find anything wrong, if I find a door open, if I find a broken window, anything that looks suspicious, I’m out of there. I’m not a cop.

Arpaio had no evidence, former Deputy Chief says

In an interview, former Deputy Chief of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Brian Sands, told CBS 5 in Phoenix:

… the investigation never uncovered any evidence that the president’s birth certificate was a fake, despite what the sheriff said in front of the cameras.

Oh, the birthers! Oh, the weeping and gnashing of teeth!

Sands also said that Arpaio felt the investigation was “politically powerful for him,” in line with Arpaio’s remarks caught on camera and appearing in the new documentary, The Joe Show, that the birther investigation would bring in large campaign contributions.

Former Deputy Chief Sands also has an eBook about his experiences with Joe Arpaio and the MCSO. Lisa Allen, the director of media relations for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, criticized Sands’ book for its numerous spelling errors.