SHERIFF'S EX-BOYFRIEND SPEAKS OUT
Tue, 21 February 2012The former boyfriend of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has spoken out about claims, first reported in the Phoenix New Times last week, that his ex abused his powers.
Speaking on CNN, the man accused Babeu of threatening to deport him if he went public with the relationship.
In the interview, the Mexican national's face was obscured but the 3TV channel later revealed his identity as Jose Orozco (34).
"I got a text from him, directly, on my phone, saying that I will never have business; that my family will be contacted," Orozco told CNN.
"What I think he just want me to keep me as far as, so I don't say anything about him or about his behaviour," he added.
Following the accusations, Babeu - who is running for Congress as a conservative Republican - came out as gay, but he has denied threatening Orozco.
Orozco said that he met Babeu in 2006 on the website Gay.com and that the sheriff sent him a photo posing with U.S. Senator John McCain. He also claims that after dating for about three years, he discovered that Babeu was cheating on him and they broke up.
Orozco claims that he is currently legally in the U.S. but it’s unclear if he was living in the country legally at the time of his relationship with Babeu.
A Latino rights group, Respect Respeto, has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Babeu for abusing his office.
“It is my feeling that neither an elected official nor a law enforcement officer should abuse their positions to make such threats upon an individual in exchange for their silence and this is why I am respectfully requesting an investigation into this matter," said Respect Respeto Director Lydia Guzman.