Sheriff Joe Arpaio celebrates 80th birthday

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio turned 80-years-old Thursday. And while some sang him “Happy Birthday,” others were singing a different tune.

Protesters parked outside of Arpaio’s birthday celebration, holding signs and calling him spiteful and criminal.

“We’re out here to protest Joe Arpaio’s 80 years of bad behavior," demonstrator Rob McElwain said.    

McElwain and other protesters accuse the Sheriff of human rights violations, abuse of power and mismanagement of public funds.

But Sheriff Arpaio is used to those accusations. On this day, he said just don’t call him old.

“Well, you know all these critics are going to talk about, ‘He’s 80 years old, can’t do the job.’ I’ll outgun them anytime,” Arpaio said.

Arpaio celebrated his big day with cake and go-kart racing, while over at his office, another group of protesters lit candles on a cake of their own and sang “Happy Birthday” while holding signs accusing the Sheriff of misusing tax dollars.

For this Sheriff, they hope the celebration ends soon.