PHOENIX (CN) - Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced at a press conference Thursday that his "cold case posse" found President Barack Obama's birth certificate is a computer-generated forgery.
The finding is part of an ongoing investigation that began when 250 members of the Surprise Tea Party presented Arpaio with a signed petition asking him to investigate the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate.
"A continuing investigation is needed to not only understand more about the creation of the alleged birth certificate forgery, but also to determine who, if anyone, in the White House or the state of Hawaii may have authorized it," Arpaio said in a statement.
Members of Arpaio's posse claim that the forgers created a false birth record and fraudulently passed the document off as Obama's official birth certificate. The posse also claimed that immigration records from the days surrounding Obama's birth - Aug. 1, 1961 to Aug. 7, 161 - are missing from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The investigation did not stem from taxpayer dollars as Arpaio's posse, consisting of former law-enforcement officers and lawyers with a law-enforcement background, are volunteers.
"Absent the authentic Hawaii Department of Health 1961 birth records for Barack Obama, there is no other credible proof supporting the idea or belief that this president was born in Hawaii, or in the United States for that matter, as he and the White House have consistently asserted," Arpaio said. According to news reports, no one from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office requested to inspect documents related to Obama's birth certificate from the Hawaii Attorney General's Office.
In December, the U.S. Justice Department found that Arpaio and his deputies "engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of law enforcement and jail activities that discriminate against Latinos," and have adopted a "chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations."
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