Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
KNAU and Arizona News

AZ Solicitor Gen to Oversee Babeu Case

Gage Skidmore
Sheriff Paul Babeu speaking at a supporters rally for Mitt Romney in Paradise Valley, Arizona on December 6, 2011.

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.