GILBERT (3TV/CBS 5) -- Russell Pearce, the chief deputy for the Maricopa County treasurer's office, appeared to advocate violence in the name of politics Monday night at a rally in Gilbert.
"It may take the shedding of blood to keep this Republic and I, for one, am willing to do whatever it takes," Pearce told a crowd that included members from anti-immigrant groups and other extremist organizations.
The comment came toward the end of a rambling speech where he railed against politicians for going light on immigration and repealing a decades-old law that banned teachers from discussing homosexuality in the classroom.
"They took that away. Why would they do that? Why would they do that? Why would they put my children at risk?" Pearce said about the repeal of the so-called "No Promo Homo" law.
Pearce was the president of the state Senate and the author of the tough immigration law, SB1070.
He was later recalled from office and failed to win re-election to his seat.
Since then, Pearce has worked at the treasurer's office, where he makes a salary of $157,000 a year, according to county officials.
County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, a longtime critic of Pearce, called for Pearce to lose his job.
"I would only hope that the treasurer takes care of Russell Pearce, and removes him from office. Let’s not have this type of person who does not reflect the values of Maricopa County make these off-the-wall comments that [are] inciting violence," Gallardo said.
Because Pearce works for the treasurer, Gallardo says the board cannot fire him.
But he plans to call a meeting with the board chairman to pressure the treasurer, Royce Flora, to fire Pearce himself.
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