From left to right, WND’s Jerome Corsi, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Surprise, Ariz., tea-party leaders Brian and Denise Reilly

Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told WND he has assigned a five-member “Cold Case Posse” to investigate the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

The decision, he says, is simply a matter of doing his duty.

“This investigation does not involve politics,” Arpaio told WND. “I listen to all the residents of Maricopa County who come to my office with complaints, regardless what their politics are.

“My door is open to everyone, and I don’t kick them out. If a complaint is legitimate, I don’t dump it into the wastebasket,” he continued. “When I get allegations brought to me by the citizens of Maricopa County, I look into the allegations, just like I am doing here.”

Autographed copies of Jerome Corsi’s “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” are available only from the WND Superstore

Arpaio explained to WND that there are over 3,000 people who participate in his office’s volunteer posse program.

The “Cold Case Posse,” however, has been described as a “posse within the posse,” consisting of volunteers with professional experience in conducting investigations, including individuals chosen because of their professional backgrounds in law enforcement, as well as lawyers who have participated in criminal or civil cases and individuals with specialized skills in fields ranging from accounting to conducting criminal forensic examinations.

In the past few months, the Cold Case Posse has been inactive, largely because of budgetary limitations within the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office.

But in the past few days, Arpaio has assigned a 5-person group serving under the auspices of the Cold Case Posse to undertake the Obama birth certificate investigation.

Sources within the sheriff’s office explained to WND that the Cold Case Posse has been constituted as a 501(c)3 organization – separately organized within the 3,000-member volunteer posse – enabling people from around the country to contribute to its mission.

As WND reported, Arpaio is responding to a complaint brought to his office by representatives of the Surprise Tea Party in Surprise, Ariz., who have expressed in writing their concerns that the voting rights of Maricopa County residents in the 2012 presidential election could be compromised if Obama were to use a forged birth certificate to establish his eligibility under Article 1, Section 2, of the Constitution.

“The Cold Case Posse is a good place to put this investigation,” Arpaio said. “The individuals on this posse have been sworn in by me and I have granted them the authority required to conduct this investigation.”

Arpaio explained to WND that in the final analysis, all decisions stop with him.

“I will have the ultimate authority to decide,” he emphasized. “I gave the Cold Case Posse the authority to investigate, but the results of their investigation ultimately come to me and I will then decide how best to proceed from there.”

He also stressed that the Cold Case Posse he authorized to investigate the Surprise Tea Party allegations regarding the Obama birth certificate will not cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County anything.

None of the Cold Case Posse members assigned the Obama investigation will receive any personal compensation, and all expenses incurred in their investigation will have to be derived from funds raised through contributions from the public received by the Cold Case Posse 501(c)3 organization.

Brian Reilly, a spokesman for the Surprise Tea Party, told WND he is pleased with Sheriff Arpaio’s decision to assign the investigation to the Cold Case Posse and he and the other members of the Surprise Tea Party are looking forward to cooperating with the sheriff’s investigation.

“I believe Sheriff Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse will be thorough and complete in their investigation,” Reilly said.

Reilly said that he and the other members of the Surprise Tea Party are encouraged that the Cold Case Posse assigned by Arpaio to conduct the investigation into the authenticity of the Obama birth certificate are qualified by their career backgrounds to conduct a serious investigation.

“I am confident that this investigation will be professional and unbiased,” Reilly said, “and I am certain that the highly distinguished Cold Case Posse appointed by Sheriff Arpaio will seek to discover the truth in the matter.”

The identities of the five individuals assigned to the Cold Case Posse investigation of the Obama birth certificate are being withheld from the public, in order to protect the individuals involved from both public reaction and from questions that are certain to arise from the media.

According to Arpaio’s official website, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office holds recruitment meetings for the volunteer posse program once a month. The 3,000 posse volunteers selected by the Maricopa County sheriff’s office train and participate in a wide variety of missions, including search and rescue, crime prevention, civic functions, disaster relief and emergency support.

Those wishing to contribute to the 501(c)3 supporting the Cold Case Posse investigation of the Obama birth certificate are asked to send contributions addressed to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at: MCSO Cold Case Posse, P.O. Box 74374, Phoenix, Ariz., 85087.

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