PHOENIX - A former boyfriend has publicly accused Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu of threatening to deport him, leading to a political bombshell.
The sheriff is dismissing the allegations.
Over the weekend, he admitted he is gay and does not deny the relationship, but said he did not threaten anyone.
Since this story broke last week, CNN's Miguel Marquez is the only television reporter to speak with Sheriff Babeu's ex-boyfriend, identified only as "Jose."
ABC15 asked Marquez about "Jose's" demeanor at the time of a sit down interview in Phoenix.
"This is a guy who is clearly worried about his future here. This is a guy coached by his attorney and is very, very guarded in what he talks about and how he talks about it," said Marquez.
Sheriff Babeu's ex-lover, a 34-year-old Mexican immigrant, met Babeu in 2006 while working as a volunteer on the sheriff's campaign.
Jose claims, according to Marquez, that he and Babeu dated for three years, on and off, and in the last year and a half things began to sour.
"This is a relationship that went bad and a breakup that went worse," Marquez added.
"Jose" alleges that's when Babeu began threatening deportation.
"Jose" claims to have been in the country legally on a 10-year multiple entry tourist visa.
"I questioned him over and over again on his visa status, not only presently but in the past even before he met the sheriff," explained Marquez. "It was very difficult to get a sense of where he was on all of that."
The backlash over his ex-lover's allegations has led Babeu to resign as a State Campaign Chairman for GOP contender Mitt Romney.
Despite the controversy, Babeu vows to continue his congressional race.
When asked about the timing of the "Jose" claims, Marquez responded, "I did not detect a political motive behind this. This is a guy who I believe truly fell in love with Sheriff Babeu and felt cheated and jilted that that love was not returned."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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