Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

The results of a formal law-enforcement investigation into whether Barack Obama is eligible to be president of the United States could come as a “shock,” according to Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Tuesday night, speaking to a tea-party group in Arizona, Arpaio said, “I can’t tell you everything, but there could be a shock there somewhere that my guys came up with. I can’t talk too much about it. It’s in the process.”

WND previously has reported that Arpaio has constituted a special five-member law enforcement posse to investigate allegations brought by members of the Surprise, Ariz., Tea Party that the birth certificate released to the public April 27 might be a forgery.

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The posse, assembled under the authority of Arpaio’s office, consists of three former law enforcement officers and two retired attorneys with law enforcement experience. Members have been examining evidence since September concerning Obama’s eligibility to be president under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, which requires a president to be a natural-born citizen.

He referenced disputes over the Social Security number attributed to the president and said, “There are a couple of things you and nobody else here knows anything about yet that could be a little bit exciting.”

“The investigation into Obama’s eligibility to be president is proceeding as planned,” Arpaio later told WND. “I expect to have the investigation completed early next year.”

He continued, “Yesterday, I met with the leader of the posse conducting the investigation, and I am very satisfied with their progress. The posse is doing a thorough and very professional job, and I am confident the posse is asking the right questions.”

Arpaio declined to reveal to WND any specifics of the investigation, but he suggested the issues being examined are comprehensive in their scope.

Attorney Orly Taitz, who has fought for more information about Obama in a number of the court cases she has filed since before Obama’s election, flew on short notice from her office in California to attend an evening meeting of the Surprise Tea Party. She brought evidence she claimed proved Obama is using a fraudulent Social Security number.

A video of Taitz’s appearance at the Surprise Tea Party meeting has been posted on YouTube:

WND previously reported that two private investigators working independently have asked why Obama is using a Social Security number set aside for applicants in Connecticut while there is no record he ever had a mailing address in that state.

WND also has reported a private investigation revealed that the Social Security number being used by Obama does not pass a check with E-Verify, the electronic system the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has created to verify whether or not someone is authorized to work legally in America.

Arpaio accepted the evidence Taitz presented, although sources close to the sheriff’s investigation told WND the posse already had the information she presented.

During her approximately 10-minute speech delivered in the front of the room, Taitz made her case to Arpaio, with her comments punctuated by audience applause. Arpaio, standing next to the podium, listened to Taitz attentively and politely.

“Thanks for your input,” Arpaio said, after she handed him the papers containing her evidence and arguments regarding the Social Security number controversy. “We are looking at this very closely.”

He commented that he was a little sorry Taitz went into details of specific investigative issues while the investigation was ongoing, but he acknowledged, “You have a right to do so. I’m investigating and I have to be careful sometimes. It’s very complex.”

Arpaio told Taitz and the tea-party audience he could not go public on any specifics regarding the probe until it was concluded.

Regarding the Social Security concerns, he said, “What you are saying here, we know all about.”

Arpaio said he was “not going to wait forever to get the investigation done,” adding that he wants to complete it as soon as possible, so he can make his recommendations on steps that may be needed to move forward.

“I’m really the Lone Ranger on this one,” he told the group candidly. “I’m doing my job. I’m getting shots from everyone. Nobody is going to tell me not to address this issue. The investigation is moving forward.”

Arpaio repeated to the tea-party group what he has told WND previously: “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. When I get allegations brought to me by the people of Maricopa County, I look into the allegations, just like I am doing here.”

On April 15, Arizona Gov. Janet Brewer vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature that would have required candidates for the presidency to prove to the Arizona secretary of state their eligibility to be president under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution to have their names placed on the ballot.

There are more than 3,000 volunteers who participate in Arpaio’s posse program. The power to constitute posses is authorized to Arizona sheriffs under the state constitution.

The “Cold Case Posse” conducting the Obama eligibility investigation 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 examination.

The Cold Case Posse investigating Obama’s eligibility was constituted as a 501(c)3 organization so that donations could be used for expenses and the investigation would not cost the people of Maricopa County any taxpayer money.

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