Report: Pinal County Sheriff threatened ex-lover

PHOENIX - A man who claims to have been the ex-lover of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told a Phoenix reporter he was threatened with deportation when he refused to promise never to disclose their relationship.

The Phoenix New Times reports the alleged threats came through Babeu's personal attorney, who is also running Babeu's campaign for Congress in the 4th District.

The 34-year-old man who was only identified by his first name, Jose, reportedly says lawyer Chris DeRose demanded he sign an agreement to keep him from mentioning the affair.

According to the Phoenix New Times, DeRose says the dispute between the sheriff and Jose stem from a dispute concerning Jose's work on Babeu's website. DeRose says Jose hacked into a campaign website.

DeRose said in a statement emailed to ABC15 on Friday night that Babeu's office was contacted by the New Times Friday afternoon regarding a long series of allegations for a story from an anonymous source.

DeRose stated the allegations referred to an incident that happened in September when Babeu's campaign website , Twitter account and online financial transaction system were hacked.

DeRose went on to say a cease and desist letter was sent to the "perpetrator" who was also asked to sign an agreement refraining from similar activity in the future.

DeRose said that no threats were made at any time.

The Phoenix New Times reports Jose said he met Babeu in October 2006 on gay.com , a dating website.

Jose reportedly told the Phoenix New Times the relationship started as personal and turned also into a business one.

Jose reportedly created and maintained Babeu's campaign websites, his Facebook page, and his Twitter account, without pay.

DeRose said in the statement to ABC15, "We strongly deny the sensationalist headline published by the Phoenix New Times."

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