Babeu asks for investigation into allegations

FLORENCE, AZ - Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has requested a comprehensive investigation into recent allegations made against him, professionally and personally.

The State Attorney General's Office has announced they will head up one of the investigations into the accusation that Sheriff Babeu threatened to deport an ex-boyfriend if he told anyone about his sexuality.

Babeu sent a letter to Gila County Sheriff John Armor and Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores asking that their investigation "look into allegations of human rights violations, threatening and intimidating, misuse of public resources, theft of property, theft of identity, fraud and impersonation."

But by late Tuesday afternoon the independent investigation had been moved into the hands of Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne after Armor and Flores told Babeu's office they didn't have the resources to conduct the investigation at this time.

Babeu added:

"Attorney General Tom Horne is the top prosecutor in the state. I feel that he and his staff will conduct this comprehensive investigation into all allegations made against me and my office, as well as possible crimes committed against me."

Babeu's own Pinal County has turned to a task force of several different Arizona County Attorneys to lead a separate independent investigation into him.

"Pinal County is seen as a place where law enforcement does the right thing. As part of the law enforcement community I'm trying to do the right thing here," Pinal County Attorney James Walsh said.

The Phoenix New Times reported last week that the sheriff had threatened an ex-lover with deportation when he refused to promise never to disclose their relationship.

That led to a news conference Saturday where Babeu publicly admitted he is gay. He denied threatening the 34-year-old man identified only as "Jose."

Some in Arizona have pushed for an investigation to take place.

"He needs...a third person to investigate this," said Lydia Guzman with Respect-Respeto.

Guzman wants the Department of Justice to get involved.

"Perhaps this may even clear Paul Babeu's name," she said.

Babeu suggested to ABC15 on Monday that the story released about him is politically motivated.

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