On the morning of Dec. 15, the Justice Department called officials of the Sheriff’s office to a 9 a.m. meeting, refusing to disclose in advance the purpose of the meeting.
One hour later, at 10 a.m. local time, Perez held a press conference in Phoenix, making the Arpaio report public.
DOJ officials turned away MCSO representatives from attending the press conference, claiming the room was too full to permit additional attendees.
Arpaio questioned the timing of the press conference, noting that Dec. 15 was one day after the first anniversary of the gun battle near the Arizona border in which Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was gunned down by illegal immigrants armed with weapons supplied by the Justice Department in the now controversial “Fast and Furious” gun-walking operation that has brought Holder under considerable political pressure to resign.
Clearly, winning the Latino vote is a key presidential election strategy for the Democratic Party in 2012.
On Sept. 28, Obama gave a White House interview to three Latino journalists in which he singled out Arpaio by name and declared Maricopa County should not be taken as the “model” for U.S. immigration laws.
Some observers also note the timing. The Obama administration chose to make public allegations resulting from a three-year DOJ investigation after Arpaio authorized a MCSO Cold Case Posse to investigate Obama’s birth certificate and his eligibility to be president under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution.
Moreover, the DOJ in delivering the Dec. 15 complaint indicated Arpaio’s office would have only two months to comply – timing coincident with the scheduled February 2012 release of the Cold Case Posse’s investigation.
Arpaio reminded WND that he is a sheriff, elected by the voters of Maricopa County. As such, he is the chief law enforcement officer in the county, not an appointed law enforcement officer responsible to the mayor, a state attorney general or even to the attorney general of the United States.
“I report to the people of Maricopa County,” Arpaio said, “and I intend to continue enforcing the immigration laws of the state of Arizona as long as I hold this office.”
Arpaio also told WND that he intends to run for re-election as Maricopa County sheriff in 2012, despite efforts organized in Phoenix by activist-attorney Randy Parraz to pressure the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors into demanding Arpaio’s resignation.
DOJ retracts apology to Arpaio
Arpaio attorney Popolizo also disclosed in his cover letter that DOJ attorney Roy Austin had privately apologized to MCSO that the DOJ appeared to be taking a political direction with the complaint against Arpaio.
“Mr. Austin’s private expression of gratitude [to the MCSO for cooperation in the DOJ investigation] was also accompanied by an apology,” Popolizo continued. “Mr. Austin specifically apologized to us for not being able to control the timing or manner of the announcement of the investigation’s finding, despite his earlier promise that if the MCSO fully cooperated with DOJ’s investigation, a politicization of this investigation would not occur.”