Arpaio recall group: Third of signatures gathered - New York News

Arpaio recall group: Third of signatures gathered

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Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio
PHOENIX -

Leaders of an effort to oust Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio say they've gathered a third of the signatures needed to force a recall election.

Respect Arizona's recall organizers say they've gathered 120,000 of the more than 335,000 valid voter signatures required by May 30 to prompt an election.

"We have stood in front of libraries, attended community events and even visited voters at their homes asking them to sign the recall petition," stated Mary Lou Boettcher, one of the Co-Founders of Respect Arizona.  "Each day more and more citizens are stepping forward eager to carry the recall petition."

The recall group has refused to abandon its bid to oust the sheriff even though Arpaio supporters are threatening legal action.

"This is the exact type of behavior that gave rise to the recall of Sheriff Arpaio," declared William James Fisher, Chairman, Respect Arizona.  "Citizens are tired of the bullying, name calling, attacks and threats which Arpaio uses to intimidate and harass his political opponents.  We will not stop until we reach our goal of 335,317 valid signatures and Sheriff Arpaio is officially recalled."

Larry Klayman, a lawyer representing Arpaio supporters, says his group will take legal action March 19.

Recall organizers say the sheriff has put immigration enforcement above other police priorities, while Arpaio supporters contend the effort is unconstitutional.

Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems questions whether recall organizers have as many valid signatures as they claim.

Neither group has revealed its sources of funding.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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