Supporters of the "Toughest Sheriff in America" are telling people to back off. Since being re-elected in November, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been under fire, and organizers have been working to establish a recall election in the hopes of removing him from his post. They claim that he has routinely ignored sexual assault cases in favor of immigration enforcement, which has struck an emotional chord within Phoenix's Latino community.
Specifically, Arpaio's critics cite the fact that more than 400 sex crime cases were not adequately investigated or examined at all. This was a huge political issue during the election, and his critics believe that he essentially ignored the issue. A recent internal affairs report suggested that sex crime cases were mismanaged due to lack of communication and understaffing. Also, it did not attribute the failures to one single person (i.e. Sheriff Arpaio).
In the meantime, supporters of the long time sheriff are threatening court action if the efforts do not stop. According to an azfamily.com report, the group Citizens to Protect Fair Election Results believes that the proposed recall is merely a scheme to harass him and prevent the appropriate carriage of justice. The group recently called a press conference to announce a cease and desist letter sent to recall organizers.
Nevertheless, recall advocates still have time to rally support for an election. According to state law, they have until May 30th to gather the required number of voters' signatures (about 335,000) to force a recall election. They indicated to media outlets that they have about 50,000 thus far. Should they succeed, the earliest a recall election could be held is in November.