Arizona’s Attorney General’s office has asked Solicitor General Dave Cole to oversee the investigation into Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. Babeu’s former lover -- a Mexican national -- alleges the sheriff threatened deportation when the relationship ended last year.
Babeu and Attorney General Tom Horne historically have been political allies -- in fact the sheriff endorsed Horne in his last election. So Horne will have his solicitor general, Dave Cole, look into whether Babeu abused his power as sheriff. A task force of Arizona county attorneys will conduct a separate investigation. Babeu has asked that the investigation look into allegations of crimes he says were committed against HIM -- identity theft, property theft, fraud, and impersonation. The sheriff’s ex-boyfriend has accused Babeu of threats, intimidation, and other possible human rights violations. New questions have also been raised about the ex-boyfriend’s legal status, which COULD mean that the sheriff would be guilty of harboring -- and hiring -- an illegal immigrant.