TPM Livewire

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Disputes Report He Refused To Lower Flags For Mandela

AP Photo

The news came after a South Carolina sheriff last week announced he would defy a presidential order to fly flags at half mast in honor of the late South African leader. 

However, on Wednesday, officer Christopher Hegstrom, a spokesman for Arpaio's office, told TPM the radio story "was a poorly done report" and Arpaio's office had asked for it to be "retracted."

Lisa Allen, a spokeswoman for Arpaio, added that Arpaio was unaware of the presidential order, which applied to federal buildings, until he was contacted by reporters. According to Allen, when Arpaio heard about the order, he called for flags to be lowered through Monday, which was the final day the order was in effect.

"The Sheriff was told about the presidential order late Sunday afternoon by a reporter who called him on his cell," Allen said. "Flags were ordered half staff til Monday sunset."