A second opponent of Paul Babeu in the race for Arizona's first congressional district has publicly condemned the sheriff after an ABC15 report.
Democrat Tom O'Halleran, a former police officer and state legislator, issued a statement about Babeu's comments in a 1999 home video, showing him tout extreme disciplinary methods against children with special needs.
O'Halleran also spoke to ABC15 Thursday. A clip of his comments can be seen above.
Here's O'Halleran's full statement:
“As a police officer for over a decade, I served and protected families in tough neighborhoods. Child abuse investigations were among the most disturbing of my cases. Systematic psychological or physical abuse of defenseless children is reprehensible. My direct, formative work as a police officer propelled me decades later as a legislator to lead a bipartisan coalition that successfully reformed Arizona Child Protective Services. Unfortunately, in recent years, most of the good we did back then has been undone by poor leadership and inadequate funding.
“This is why I am so troubled by anyone who would participate in or cover-up the systematic abuse of children. Recent investigations by ABC News have shown with irrefutable video evidence that Paul Babeu was not only aware but seemingly proud of the horrific child abuse that occurred on his watch as Headmaster of the DeSisto School. He has denied this over the years, even threatening to sue those who first exposed these disturbing abuses.
“We must speak up and hold accountable those who would overlook the extensive abuse the students of DeSisto School suffered. Parents entrusted their children in the care of the school, and Paul Babeu was the headmaster. His responsibility was to protect those in his care and not look the other way while they were harmed, and as reported by the State of Massachusetts, dehumanized.
“I know that we must do better. It is time for Mr. Babeu to come clean with the voters about his time at the DeSisto School. It is also time for all of us to stand together in condemning Paul Babeu and those who have knowingly put children in harm's way.”