Arpaio says MCSO still investigating Obama

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Several minutes of the nearly five-hour deposition of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in July were spent discussing his investigation of President Barack Obama. (Source: CBS 5 News) Several minutes of the nearly five-hour deposition of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in July were spent discussing his investigation of President Barack Obama. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

It's been four years since Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio held his last news conference detailing his accusations that President Barack Obama released a fake birth certificate to the public, but that doesn't mean the investigation is over.

In July, during a videotaped deposition connected to an unrelated investigation, Arpaio stated that the investigation is ongoing.

RAW VIDEO: Arpaio says during deposition that investigation into Obama is still open        

"You've actually launched an investigation against the president of the United States, haven't you?" asked attorney Stephen Montoya, who represents Logan and Austin Flake. They are suing the sheriff for his handling of an animal cruelty case in which the Flakes believe they were wrongfully prosecuted.

RELATED: Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deposition in lawsuit by senator's son

"Which investigation are you talking about?" was Arpaio's response.

After some back and forth between the sheriff and the attorney, Arpaio made the statement, which could complicate his re-election bid.

"By the way, that investigation is not done yet," said Arpaio.

The investigation into the authenticity of the president's birth certificate has made the sheriff a cause celebre of the the "birther" movement, which refers to a group of conspiracy theorists who allege that Obama was not born in the United States, and therefore is not a legitimate president. The White House posted a copy of the president's birth certificate on its website, but that did not quiet the conspiracy-theory crowd.

Shortly after the White House posted Obama's birth certificate, Arpaio ordered his Cold Case Posse to investigate its authenticity. The posse member in charge of the investigation is Mike Zullo, a former police officer and car salesman.

Critics charged that Arpaio was using the birther investigation to gain votes and campaign dollars for his 2012 re-election campaign. The sheriff even said as much himself in a video clip shown in the documentary, "The Joe Show."

Arpaio has not made many statements about the investigation since his last news conference on the issue in 2012. He is now facing a potentially tight election, as well as the possibility of criminal charges for disobeying a federal judge's orders.

MCSO did not respond to a request for an update on the status of the birth certificate investigation.

Copyright 2016 KPHO (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award, and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. In October 2016, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School at Purdue University Global. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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