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Maricopa County rejects funds for 'birther' probe

PHOENIX - The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors won't accept private funds to offset nearly $10,000 spent to investigate President Barack Obama's residency status.

County Sheriff Joe Arpaio sent a deputy to Hawaii last month to verify Obama's birth records.

So-called ``birthers'' claim Obama is ineligible to hold the country's highest elected office because they contend he was born in Kenya, his father's homeland.

Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed Obama's citizenship and verified Obama's birth records to Arizona's elections chief.

The supervisors declined Wednesday to accept private funds to offset the trip's cost, which The Arizona Republic says include more than $3,500 in overtime payments.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Lisa Allen says the agency will try again to get the board to accept the donations covering more than $9,600 in expenses.

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