MCSO investigator selling 'birther' investigation online

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The lead investigator in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's investigation into President Obama's birth certificate is profiting from the case.

Mike Zullo, a retired detective and volunteer Maricopa County Sheriff Posse member, is listed as the co-author of "A Question of Eligibility," an e-book for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book is a copy of the investigation findings presented to the press on Thursday.

Zullo's co-author is Jerome Corsi, a well-known political conspiracy writer who started the Swift-boat case against Sen. John Kerry.  More recently, Corsi, who writes for World Net Daily, has spent the last few years driving the birther movement.

Corsi supplied much of the research for the MCSO investigation, which labeled the president's birth certificate "a fake."

Corsi and Zullo are selling the investigation online for $9.99, and Corsi said they are splitting the profits. In a phone interview Friday night, Corsi told 3TV neither Arpaio nor the MCSO will see profits from the sales.

Corsi denied using the MCSO as a promotional tool to sell his books and theories.

"It's what I do. I'm a writer," Corsi said, "My motive is to get the information to the American public [so] if they want to read it in a book, they've got one available."

Corsi said he informed Arpaio of his plans to sell the investigation's findings six months ago, at the start of the investigation.

"He approved," Corsi said, since neither he nor Zullo are paid members of the MCSO.

"Since he's a volunteer, Mike owns his work product and as such, he's permitted to utilize that work product for compensation," Corsi explained.

Still, the sale of the investigation is raising eyebrows and ethical questions from Arpaio critics.

"I'm shocked to learn about this book," said Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.