by Emily Gersema - Jan. 30, 2012 09:50 PM| The Republic | azcentral.com
A Phoenix commission focused on equality issues has voted 13-0 to call for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to step down, and it wants City Council members to take a stand.
The Phoenix Human Relations Commission approved the resolution Monday at a special meeting. Three members were absent. The commission's resolution was supported by about a dozen residents who came to speak at the meeting, while a handful of others argued the commission had no business holding a vote on the future of an official elected by popular vote.
Commission Chairwoman Diane D'Angelo said she wanted the board to vote on the issue because of the U.S. Department of Justice's recent findings that outline several civil-rights violations by the Sheriff's Office, such as racial profiling and neglected sex-crime investigations. Although the commission is an advisory board to the council, its decisions are non-binding. Council members are concerned the vote could affect the city's jail contract.