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Panel to investigate Babeu

Timothy Kincaid

February 22nd, 2012

According to AZCentral.com, a special panel will investigate whether Sheriff Paul Babeu violated his public trust by threatening to have ex-boyfriend Jose Orozco deported. Interestingly, it is at Babeu’s request.

The local county prosecutor is a political ally of Babeu so rather than conduct an investigation that will be seen as tainted, they are turning instead to the Public Integrity Task Force, a non-partisan committee of neighboring county prosecutors.

In addition, Babeu has requested that the Arizona State Attorney General Tom Horne open a separate investigation into whether he has abused his power. But because Horne and Babeu have also supported each other in the past, the Solicitor General, Dave Cole, will investigate.

That Babeu is requesting investigation may reflect his confidence in the eventual conclusions (or the conclusion makers). Alternately, it may be a step taken to ensure that the investigators not focus solely on Babeu’s behavior to the exclusion of that of Orozco. He requested that the scope include “allegations of human-rights violations, threatening and intimidating, misuse of public resources, theft of property, theft of identity, fraud and impersonation.”

The latter relates to counter-charges made by Babeu’s attorney

Babeu, who said he had a romantic relationship with Orozco that went sour, accused Orozco of taking control of his campaign websites and Twitter account without permission in September and posting unflattering messages.

Chris DeRose, Babeu’s attorney and campaign manager, sent Orozco a cease-and-desist letter vowing to sue if the messages were not removed and the accounts turned back over. Orozco complied, Babeu said, and the matter was dropped.

Comments

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andrew
February 22nd, 2012 | LINK

I can’t claim to know what’s going on here – Babeau is smart to do so, and it tends to lend him credibility. The boyfriend is starting to look worse and worse, although not all facts are out yet. I hope the media covers this in an ongoing fashion, since the original story was more about the threat to deport than the outing of the official, and being gay should be irrelevent to the job, while the threat should be a disqualifier.

Babs is starting to come up in my estimations (not hard to do, given that my initial reaction was that he was a total bastard). I’m curious what this guy’s deal is. Sure has a brass pair to stay in the race, call for the investigation, and soldier on. Usually, they just slink away in shame or make unverifiable claims.

Lindoro Almaviva
February 22nd, 2012 | LINK

That is not the behavior of someone who is

1. afraid or
2. have anything to hide.

either that or he has some deep connections and he knows the result of the investigation before it starts

andrew
February 22nd, 2012 | LINK

I know it… I want to find out more about Babeau… I split the difference between Dems and GOP. He might be a candidate I can get on board with.

Lindoro Almaviva
February 22nd, 2012 | LINK

* not afraid, I should say

jpeckjr
February 23rd, 2012 | LINK

This is a very smart move on Mr. Babeu’s part, both politically and personally. As Lindoro says, he would not do this if he was afraid or had anything to hide.

Duck
February 23rd, 2012 | LINK

Why the investigation into the identity theft, fraud and impersonation if the matter was resolved via the cease and desist letter? If the problem was resolved, why bring it back up as a potential criminal matter? If it wasn’t resolved prior to this, why wasn’t it being pursued criminally prior to this?

Also, if you are banging your IT staff and it goes sour, what kind of incompetent goober doesn’t make sure that all of the account passwords are changed and that the logins associated with the soured IT boytoy aren’t disabled? Anyone with any kind of knowledge (such as that required to create an adam4adam account) of computer systems knows to have the remaining IT staff change the freaking account settings (and the admin passwords) when IT staff departs, particularly if the parting isn’t completely amicable.

Georgie
February 23rd, 2012 | LINK

Well, I live in Pinal County and can tell you he’s a great Sheriff. He’s done right by the county and the communities within thus far. I don’t care that he’s gay and it’s really none of my business or anyone elses. It’s unfortunate that this matters in politics sometimes. As if being gay was a discrediting factor. The biggest mistake Babeu made was to post undressed pictures of himself on a website. While the average person doesn’t care, when you’re running for political office, those pics should not be running around. That’s why I’ll never run for any office ;) Oh how the past can come back to haunt you.

Babeu’s ex-boyfriend is sounding more and more like someone with a personal vendetta against him, and so far the text messages I have seen don’t indicate anything more than someone who is trying to avoid someone they are not interested in anymore. Most people try to be nice about it by claiming they’re too busy to spend time with them, a pretty typical action. It will be up to the lawyers and the court to decide if either party have a legal case against the other, but so far it’s just sour grapes. Right now, my money is still on Babeu and I would still support him.

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