Unmarked Posse Cars to Ditch Government Plates After Birther's Tell-All Article
Was last week's posse crisis triggered by a former Cold Case Posse's whistle-blowing article on March 9?
Brian Reilly with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Mike Zullo, chief investigator for the Cold Case Posse's Obama conspiracy case.
Brian Reilly, the former posseman and an ex-Surprise Tea Party member, believes so.
A new policy affecting posse cars and other vehicles put into effect on Thursday suggests he could be right.
Reilly's group spurred Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to assign the "Cold Case Posse" to investigate President Obama's birth certificate in 2011.
In his March 9 article published on ObamaConspiracy.org, Reilly claimed that he was assigned an unmarked vehicle with government plates after he was made a posse member on April 17, 2012: "I was given a case, investigator's flat badge, a 2003 unmarked Crown Vic police cruiser, Arizona license number G-669EG, the first "G" indicating a government plate, and a county gas key was also provided."
He went on to relate other concerns about the liability of being a posse member:
"I worked with Dr. Jerome Corsi, Commander Mike Zullo and Sheriff Joe Arpaio until June 30, 2012 at which time I chose to resign and I hung up my spurs. There was too much potential liability working as a volunteer. The MCSO policies were far too sporadically applied by my superior for my liking. Posse members were subject to possible criminal prosecution if a badge was displayed without proper authority. (Posse members are not law enforcement officers.) Risk management was always a question. (Would they cover you or not?)"Reilly says Zullo didn't want to accept his resignation. Zullo "and/or his birther buddies planted the story that I was let go. That I was 'disgruntled.'"
The article contains some other interesting revelations, none of which we've yet confirmed.
But we do know that two weeks later, Arpaio's office sent a memo to posses warning them to comply with a July 2012 order to buy their own insurance for their cars and SUVs, many of which are marked police vehicles. While posses are affiliated with the Sheriff's Office, they're independent, nonprofit corporations that fund most of their own activities. Usually, they buy their own gas.