The co-founder of a citizens' rights group claims that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio would not be investigating the citizenship of President Barack Obama if Obama were "white and Republican."
Randy Parraz, co-founder of Citizens for a Better Arizona, said Arpaio's investigation into Obama's birth certificate is in retaliation of his critics and criticized the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America for acting on requests from members of the tea party.
Parraz said Arpaio's timing is intended to divert attention from federal investigations into his jail practices, especially concerning his office's handling Hispanic inmates and immigrants.
Arpaio on Thursday was to announce the findings of a six-month investigation into the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate and to see if fraud or forgery was involved.
"Apparently, Sheriff Arpaio just realized that Barack Obama is President of the United States and he may or may not be a citizen," Parraz said in a news release issued Thursday morning. "This seems a bit absurd since the United States Constitution requires all those who hold the Office of the President to be a citizen.
"It appears that Sheriff Arpaio and his supporters orchestrated the request at a time when Sheriff Arpaio's practices and policies have been deemed unconstitutional and in violation of the law."
Parraz said his group would be well-represented at Arpaio's Thursday's news conference.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 24 2013 12:29 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:29:51 GMT
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department. CBS 5 News selects five restaurants with some of the highestMore >
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 2:31 AM EDT2013-05-24 06:31:07 GMT
Jodi Arias (Source: CBS 5 News)
It is now in the hands of the 12 jurors to decide if Jodi Arias will live her life behind bars or if she'll be executed. The defense and prosecution gave their closing statement Tuesday afternoon andMore >
The judge has declared a mistrial in the penalty phase of the Jodi Arias trial. The jury announced late Thursday afternoon that they could not reach a unanimous decision on life or death for Arias.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:39:28 GMT
Dan Marco's son was murdered in 2010. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family"My heart goes out to them, because I understand," says Dan Marco, who's son Zachary was murdered in 2010.ZacharyMore >
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:38 AM EDT2013-05-24 08:38:10 GMT
(RNN) - A bridge in Washington has collapsed and at least two cars are in the water, according to KING 5 TV out of Seattle. The bridge is part of Interstate 5. There is no word on injuries. Copyright 2013More >
A photo from the scene showed a man sitting on top of his car, which was partially submerged.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-23 12:00:17 GMT
A former flight instructor who taught foreign flight students at one of the Valley's pilot schools told CBS 5 Investigates the students often could barely speak English. "I'd say at least 50 percent ofMore >
A former flight instructor who taught foreign flight students at one of the Valley's pilot schools told CBS 5 Investigates the students often could barely speak English.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 6:21 AM EDT2013-05-24 10:21:37 GMT
A group supporting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is asking a judge to let its lawsuit seeking to end a recall effort against the sheriff move forward in court.Citizens To Protect Fair Election ResultsMore >
A group supporting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is asking a judge to let its lawsuit seeking to end a recall effort against the sheriff move forward in court.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:43:24 GMT
Fallen officer's daughter graduates from kindergarten
Hundreds of Phoenix police officers showed their support for a fallen colleague by attending his daughter's kindergarten graduation in Anthem on Wednesday. Officer Daryl Raetz was killed in the lineMore >
Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten in Anthem Wednesday and hundreds of uniformed Phoenix police officers were there to show their support for the family.More >