UPDATE Arpaio a no-show at supervisors meeting

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE: Thursday morning

Group attends supervissors meeting
azfamily.com

PHOENIX -- While Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio did not show up at the latest public demonstration against him, he did send representatives in his place.

Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability attended a Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday, like they have over the past few months.

At the meeting, they asked the board to cut funding to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. MCA claims that Arpaio is abusing his power and that his department engages in racial profiling when it conducts the immigration and crime sweeps that have been the source of much controversy.

Those who attended the meeting were not shy about expressing their opinions.

"It seemed bordering on disgust that we would question the sheriff's actions, that somehow questioning the sheriff was unpatriotic, and that we didn't have a right to take those kind of actions," said one MCSA member. "I just wanted to make it clear that this board has the right and the power to control an out-of-control sheriff."

Arpaio was not at the heated meeting himself, but he did send some people from the department to defend his position.

In a statement, Arpaio said he attend personally because he did not want to add fuel to the fire. He said he wanted to let the board of supervisors focus on the issues.

The board said that while they control Arpaio's budget, they do not directly supervise him because he is an elected official.

ORIGINAL STORY

PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is once again coming under fire for its recent controversial crime sweeps.

Hundreds of people showed up at North High School Tuesday night for a meeting hosted by a group called Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability. The group wants the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to reign in Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Formed in response to the sheriff's anti-illegal-immigration sweeps, MCSA is accusing the sheriff's department of racial profiling. They also said the department is ignoring more serious crimes to conduct those sweeps.

"We have more than 40,000 unserved felony warrants and the crime in the county islands, for which the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has sole jurisdiction, has skyrocketed," said Linda Brown of MCSA

During the meeting the group circulated a petition that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors, which controls the sheriff's budget. That petition demands that the supervisors take action. It also requests a series of town-hall meeting to allow the public to comment on MCSO's practices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.