Efforts for a Sheriff Joe recall are nearing the deadline of 4 pm. Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio faces dismissal from his elected position, if 335,000 signatures are collected by today’s deadline.
Those seeking to remove Sheriff Joe contend that he has condoned the mistreatment of inmates, costing the county millions. Additionally, they accuse him of failing to properly investigate sex crimes and targeting Hispanic residents for unfair questioning.
As reported by Yahoo News, the Sheriff Joe recall effort has suffered several setbacks as they lack funding. Organizers of the petition have relied mainly on volunteers to spread the word and collect signatures.
Sheriff Joe began his sixth term as sheriff in January. Within weeks, the recall campaign began.
Last week, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was found guilty of racial profiling in law enforcement. Specifically, Sheriff Joe and his deputies were found guilty of unfairly targeting Hispanics.
As reported by ABC News, the county plans to appeal the charges. Tim Casey, who represented the sheriff’s department, contends that race was never a factor:
“The MCSO’s position is that it has never used race and will never use race in making its law-enforcement decisions.”
Sheriff Joe recall organizers have stated that last week’s decision helped them gain numerous signatures. They acknowledge that the sheriff won the popular vote for reelection. However, they contend that as more information becomes available, many voters have changed their mind.
As the deadline nears, supporters of the recall have camped out on the courthouse steps hoping to collect the needed signatures. Five days ago it was reported that they were still over 100,000 signatures short.
The 80-year-old sheriff has been criticized nationwide for his unusual practices and harsh crime fighting techniques. Despite widespread criticism, he continues to win the popular vote in Maricopa County.
Sheriff Joe’s recall is nearing the deadline as organizers continue to seek support for their effort. They have not released an estimate of how many signatures are still required.
[Image via Wikimedia]