Arpaio deputy in Hawaii for Obama birth certificate investigationPosted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland
PHOENIX -- A Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy is in Hawaii, not on vacation, but working as security on a case that's politically divisive for Arizonans, that is President Barack Obama's birth certificate.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said his posse arrived in Hawaii Saturday and it is purely coincidence that they made the trip the same week that Arizona's Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, started pushing the "birther" issue.
“I really can't understand the controversy when you are doing a fraud investigation and looking into the possible forgery of government documents,” said Arpaio.
The Sheriff said his volunteer cold case posse has been investigating the President's birth certificate since August and the investigation has naturally taken them to Hawaii.
“We did visit the Department of Health yesterday and as predicted we were stonewalled,” said Arpaio.
The Sheriff said the posse is being accompanied by a sheriff's deputy.
“That deputy is there for another reason a security reason I’m not going to get into,” said Arpaio.
The Sheriff said the deputy's salary is being paid by the county, but the posse will reimburse all expenses related to the deputy's travel.
The Sheriff said he is not backing down from this investigation and neither is Ariona Secretary of State Bennett, still determined to have Hawaii verify the President's birth certificate.
“I want to make sure we've done everything I can to make sure the integrity of the ballot in Arizona is preserved,” said Secretary of State Ken Bennett,
But some wonder if the Secretary of State, also the co-chair of the Mitt Romney campaign, isn't just playing politics.
“It does give the appearance that there could be a conflict there,” said Frank Camacho with the Arizona Democratic Party. “Use your common sense I'm supporting this one guy so I'm going to do what I can against his opponent,”
It's the exact reason why Ken Bennett said he was opposed to such endorsements during his last election.
“It's not appropriate for election officials to take positions on propositions or candidates if they conduct the election,” said Ken Bennett back in 2010.
When asked if he'd be investigating Mitt Romney's birth certificate the Secretary of State said he would if got enough requests to do so. According to his office, he has now received multiple email requests and is currently considering how to proceed.
3TV called the Mitt Romney campaign for comment but never heard back.