Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles defends Sheriff Babeu after ABC15 report

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles is speaking out in support of Sheriff Paul Babeu after ABC15 obtained a home video that shows he supported and bragged about using disciplinary methods on children that investigators found were abusive and inhumane.

“I believe and support Sheriff Paul Babeu,” Voyles said in a written statement. “My understanding is that there was a psychiatrist and therapist in charge and Sheriff never was in charge of that or the teaching.”

From 1999 to 2001, Babeu worked at the DeSisto School in Stockbridge, Mass. Babeu campaign website said he was headmaster and executive director of the unlicensed therapeutic boarding school.

In the home video, Babeu goes into full detail about how students were punished. It’s discipline that was abusive, inhumane and dangerous, according to state child care investigators, the court, and experts.

In 2012, Babeu also repeatedly denied having any "knowledge" of the mistreatment of students.

But despite video proof and Babeu’s own words touting the methods, the prosecutor blames the media and called it a smear attack.

“The school was open for 25 years and the media wants to blame any wrongdoing on Paul. I don’t buy it,” Voyles said. “You can tell it’s election time because some of the old attacks are starting over again.”

Voyles and Babeu have shared a close political relationship. In 2012, they ran a coordinated campaign called the “Law and Order” team.  

Here’s Voyles entire statement:

“I believe and support Sheriff Paul Babeu. My understanding is that there was a psychiatrist and therapist in charge and Sheriff never was in charge of that or the teaching. The school was open for 25 years and the media wants to blame any wrongdoing on Paul. I don’t buy it. You can tell it’s election time because some of the old attacks are starting over again. Our offices remain on going after cartel scouts in our deserts to increase border security, drastically decreasing investigations of dangerous criminals and other top issues and refuse to get bogged down in smear attacks.”

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