Babeu's "Elite" Staff Overcomes Bad Behavior with Loyalty

Richard Hank Mueller spent an October evening at the Firehouse Bar and Grill in Tempe, drinking, antagonizing security officers, and "creeping" out the ladies.

Mueller capped off his night arguing with Pierce Birkhold, a bar patron trying to stop Mueller from hitting on his girlfriend. Mueller, instead, ended up hitting Birkhold — with a closed fist to the face, a police report states.

Joshua Rudkin, the bar's general manager, told cops that Mueller was loud, disruptive, and picking fights, including with someone "much smaller than him." He also said one of his female employees, who was working the beer tub near the front door, said Mueller was "creeping her out."

After Mueller slammed his fist into Birkhold's head, bar workers called the cops, and Mueller bolted. Security officers ran after him, and Tempe police patrolling the area on horseback joined the search for the fleeing assailant.

Mueller evaded the officers, ducking into an underground garage where he'd parked. He climbed into his vehicle, even though the police report shows he had "obvious signs . . . of being intoxicated."

Security officers caught up with Mueller and stood behind his white SUV. When Tempe officers arrived, Mueller put his arms outside his driver's side window, presumably to show that he was unarmed.

Then, the 30-year-old announced to cops: "I'm a sheriff's deputy."

Mueller told the officers that he ran "because he was in fear for his life after being chased by 20 people." Tempe police Sergeant Heather Penner, among those who chased Mueller that night, reported that he was tailed by individuals easily identifiable as security employees and cops.

Tempe police soon found out that Mueller worked for Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Hired less than a month after the sheriff first took office in January 2009, Mueller had worked with Babeu at the Chandler Police Department. Babeu was a patrolman, and Mueller was a civilian detention officer. Mueller's Chandler PD employee file shows that he repeatedly applied to become a cop there but was turned down each time.

After he was hired by Babeu, Mueller graduated the police academy in Coolidge in May 2009. Two months later, the sheriff praised Mueller for his work on a sexual-assault case with an official letter of commendation.

Almost immediately, Mueller was among the sheriff's "elite," as some members of Babeu's inner circle refer to themselves. In one Pinal County Sheriff's Office photo, Mueller is seen posing with Babeu; Tim Gaffney, the office's top spokesman; and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer at the Arizona State Fair in '09.

Babeu said in a press release publicizing Mueller's commendation that he was "very proud" of the "highly disciplined" Mueller.

But such discipline wasn't evident on October 12, during his off-duty rampage in Tempe. And his PCSO performance reviews show similar control problems on duty.

Mueller's supervisor noted in one evaluation that the deputy lacked "good tact, good judgment, and common sense to resolve conflict," received "quite a few" complaints in the field, and "escalated [certain situations until they were] out of control," the Arizona Republic reported.

One incident involving Mueller ended with him and another deputy busting into an apartment, searching it without a warrant, and holding residents at gunpoint. While his supervisor recommended an 80-hour suspension for Mueller's behavior in the incident, Babeu's second-in-command — also a former Chandler cop — whittled that down to 20 hours of in-house punishment.

In addition, a photograph of the deputy (who calls himself "Hank the Tank" on his MySpace page) made the rounds at the Sheriff's Office. In the picture, Mueller is lying on a couch with his eyes closed. He's wearing only silky blue boxers and both hands are shoved down the front.

Babeu had been grooming Mueller to follow in Gaffney's footsteps and become a PCSO spokesman. But after the Tempe fight, he was put on paid leave pending an investigation. He resigned on January 4 and is facing a disorderly conduct charge in Tempe Municipal Court.


About four years ago, when Babeu first was sworn in as sheriff, he assembled his own team of commanders, directors, and executive assistants. He chose Mueller and other co-workers from his days at the Chandler Police Department, as well as political allies.

On January 9, a few days after he'd started his second term in office, Babeu asked the Pinal County Board of Supervisors to broaden his authority over his command staff by allowing him to reclassify 17 staff positions — mostly lieutenants — and strip them of their civil-service status.

Point being: These individuals would become "at-will" employees serving at the sheriff's pleasure.

At-will employees can be fired at any time, for any reason, with or without cause. Individuals in covered positions have the right to appeal terminations to a county board, a body with authority to overturn the sheriff's decision and restore jobs and lost benefits.

Supervisors initially voted to postpone the matter. Then, on February 13, they voted 3-2 to grant Babeu's request, expanding his ability to fire as many as 34 employees — but also to handpick individuals for the slots without testing their qualifications or making them compete for jobs.

Babeu had told Supervisors that it was his right and duty to organize his office as he sees fit; he dismissed concerns that he would fire existing employees and replace them. He told the board that giving him more stringent command over the additional 17 employees would make them perform better.

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72 comments
Bort-LongYear
Bort-LongYear

Where is the proffered professionalism and accountability from Stuboi's administration.  LIE-Tenant Blake King should have been demoted (at a minimum) for his meddling and gamesmanship. He would have been in any other Law Enforcement agency run by professionals.  Lie-tenant Kings anonymous, vulgar performance in defense of Stuboi are absolutely stunningly embarassing to the PCSO.  If he is so thin-skinned that he has to attempt to malign a radio host in defense of PCSO activities; what lengths is he willing to go to HIDE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR.  No Stuboi has really created a mess in Pinal County and they have demonstrated they are not worthy of public trust.  

katedemp
katedemp

If I was a man and Babeu made the statement, "I'm getting to the bottom of this," I would run out the door as fast as possible. Luckily for me, I'm not his type.....you know, a woman.

serpico1000
serpico1000

if the"Elite"staff is following Babue's example, Yeah! they are doing a very good job, bunch of nincampoops.

zinxminx
zinxminx

lol, Corruption runs deep, oh yes it does!


www.AnonProx.da.bz

katedemp
katedemp

I'm curious, if Elias Johnson was deemed untrustworthy and a liar by PCSO, how was he hired by DPS? Does DPS conduct background checks or call former employers? I heard that Johnson quit DPS because they were to mean to him in the DPS pre-police academy. Wow, I never held DPS in high regards, but I at least held them higher than PCSO, but if DPS is taking PCSO rejects, guess not.

On a different note, Sheriff Studboi better becareful taunting the feds continously. Sheriff Arpaio might do it and get away with it, but in AZ, he is a political heavyweight. Sheriff Studboi is a political featherweight. Plus, Sheriff Arpaio doesn't have skeletons in his closet like studboi does. He keeps messing with the feds, watch them re-open up the investigation of studboi having a 16 y/o boy living w/him while studboi was the HEADmaster at a boys schoool. Another question, how did Chandler PD miss that during studboi's background check?

Slappy
Slappy

Read this morning in AZ Republic "Babeu apolgizes for audit-tampering accusation".  Babeu accused the County Manager Fritz Behring of tampering with the audit pertaining to Babeu's jail.  Babeu cites the error was made by a subordinate.  "Babeu said that he was misinformed by a subordinate, whom he has since punished". 

Did this subordinate also take the blame for the photos.  This man is a coward. 

Slappy
Slappy

Babeu is "steaming mad" at the release of undocumented inmates.The release places a hamper on Babeu’s potential dating pool. He is fighting back by asking DHS for the inmates’ addresses.

I have a suspicion that Babeu’s past is catching up to him.When Babeu detects a hint that the Feds are snooping in his back yard, he comes up with a back story in the event shit hits the fan.This way he can declare he is only being targeted because of his views.

Much like when he said he received credible information that he had been "greened lighted", by the Mexican Mafia-when in fact his extracurricular activities with Jose were being circulated.

As for the addresses, Babeu will personally conduct home visits to those individuals who have been released.

Slappy
Slappy

Babeu is "steaming mad" at the release of undocumented inmates.The release places a hamper on Babeu’s potential dating pool. He is fighting back by asking DHS for the inmates' addresses.

I have a suspicion that Babeu’s past is catching up to him.When Babeu detects a hint that the Feds are snooping in his back yard, he comes up with a back story in the event shit hits the fan.This way he can declare he is only being targeted because of his stance on immigration. 

Much like when he said he received credible information that he had been "greened lighted", by the Mexican Mafia-when in fact his extracurricular activities with Jose were being circulated.

As for the addresses, Babeu will personally conduct home visits to those individuals who have been released.

It would be wise for members of his "Elite Team" to start backing away. 

Slappy
Slappy

Read this morning in AZ Republic "Babeu apolgizes for audit-tampering accusation".  Babeu accused the County Manager Fritz Behring of tampering with the audit pertaining to Babeu's jail.  Babeu cites the error was made by a subordinate.  "Babeu said that he was misinformed by a subordinate, whom he has since punished". 

Did this subordinate also take the blame for the photos.  This man is a coward. 

youareamolesterpaul
youareamolesterpaul

Paul is a molester and the whole Babeu family in AZ protects him along with his deputies. NO one will write the truth, but there evidence to back it up. Lets start with the fact that was left out of the article of Joshua that the whole Babeu family met Paul living with in North Adams MA on Willow St.that was a student at Desisto. Paul was molested by his brother John which is well documented and so was his brother Shaun and other sisters and brothers and his own mother beaten by John. But Paul choices to shut his mouth and protect John while they both going on molesting other young people. Shaun and Paul when they were younger were too close for comfort. Shaun was always on Paul's will and I am sure was very shock to find out he was not when Paul went to Iraq. Mueller followed Paul around like a puppy dog and was always at Paul's house and never looked at a girl but Paul's ass. Lucy was not allowed at her own mother's funeral because they were afraid of the truth leaking out about all the brother's who were rapists. Paul lied on fox about being raped by the priest at age 11 in a interview in March 2011. In 1993 the Judge order Paul never to collect any money for evidence in the Lavigne grand jury, but in 2002 he collected $150,000 and other money in other states. Lies, lies, lies. Paul tell the truth about being molested by Lavigne and about the Croteau boy who died. Don't you feel guilty about Shaun Dobbert dying?

50jxxx
50jxxx

Yet, he was overwhelming re-elected.   Go figure.

penkdooo
penkdooo

lol, Corruption is bliss


www.Get-Privacy.tk

mandisroyalflush
mandisroyalflush

All I can do is shake my head and think that these are the people that are "sworn to serve and PROTECT". Pffff.....

jester.jackson
jester.jackson

It just makes me wonder if Babeu's Elites are literally in his 'inner circle'. 

bgray59
bgray59

You are to polite when calling inner circle "elite"  I think merry band of thugs.  These people are installed throughout the department.  They are not responsible to their supervisors, who live in fear for their jobs.


These slugs routinely are used to harass citizens who have offended Babeu or his monied supporters. One out of state developer who is connected to Babeu.  Pointed a loaded pistol at a 14 year boy who was riding on a trail.  The parents filed a complaint.  The investigating "detectives" threatened the boys parents  by handling their guns while "interviewing" the parents.  


This is a violation of the National Law Enforcement training standards.  They regularly post themselves outside opponents homes.  One critic was under surveillance continuously for a month.  The harassment was so blatant and intimidating that the individual moved his family.  Now when a member of his family stay in their home Deputies come up an peer in the windows at all hours of the day or night.


Babeu needs to be removed from Office and charged with civil rights if nothing else.



scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

I do not understand why police chiefs of cities are selected on merit,leadership, and background by the city council and sherrifs are elected.  This seems to be an artifact of long ago days and has exceeded its usefulness.  In fact, it has become toxic.  Time for a statewide change.  Otherwise, in every county, there is the proven and continuing risk of sherrifs who are not accountable to anyone.

DNichols
DNichols

How sweet, the Mother of a Knife Point Rapist Boozing it up with a Gay Pedifile Sheriff , and his Drunken Life Pals.

No D.U.I.'s allowed for this Drunken bunch of Suck Ups.

Governors Pardon.

pacholopez298
pacholopez298

You guy need to investiget About Paula Pollack, she claims she have no life becouse she needs to be always with Gay Paul, pretending to be his wife.... she sad and the bar I'm tire of cover up for this gay, my boss the I have, every knows he is gay.....she sad the new job she have is becouse she does a good job for Tim..... and she add the Real Boss is Tim.

slappy
slappy

Monica, can you post Babeu's Elite members. 

slappy
slappy

If Horne, the Arizona Attorney General can have an office romance, so should Babeu.  Remember it was Horne's office who cleared Babeu of not abusing his position. 

There's alot of ass play going on within the Sheriff's Office.  If fact it has been reported there's a heavy odor of ass and cheap men's cologne spewing out of Babeu's Office. 

slappy
slappy

Monica, do you know that names of the Elite team, at will employees?

BJeff70
BJeff70

So let me get this straight: if Mueller was showing "obvious signs...of being intoxicated", does the Tempe police report also show that he was given a breath test? Since, you know, he was in "actual physical control" of a vehicle at the time? If it had been you or I behind the wheel, I bet they would have...

loneeagle1938
loneeagle1938

So, prehaps our dismal failure nutcase nitwit old boozer GOP/Tea Party Jan Brewer can get hired by that goofball Pinal County Sheriff Babbling Paul Babeu as Chief Deputy Booze Inspector.after her current term as Governor of Arizona is finished or hired as Sheriff Babbling  Buffoon Paul Babeu's Official Pinal County Sheriff Department Gun Moll. Since clearly the ugly old boozer Brewer would fit in prefectly!

budsan
budsan

John McCain and Babeu deserve each other

chucklereader1
chucklereader1

mmm, just like horndog, baboo knows how to pick his little harem of cuties who put out for him.... 

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Why am I not surprised?

PCSO is corrupt because Little Joe Paul is corrupt. He was corrupt when he was in the NG, he was corrupt as DeSisto headmaster, etc.

PCSO is a second MCSO.

1wayfaringpilgrim
1wayfaringpilgrim

Paul Babeu needs a new nickname, how about Sheriff Bababooey?  Sheriff Baboytoy?  Sheriff Bablowme?  Sheriff Bablewyou?

studboitool
studboitool

 Baboso said he hired handsome males to be around him: Muller, Blake, Jonhson, and babeun personal assistant. Babeu met Muller at chandler when Muller was doing fingerprints. Babeu offer a job to Johnson when they had an interview, babeu promised a lot to him. Babeu hires the son of best friend to be his personal assistant and driver. Babeu hired his best friend from Chandler, Blake. Babeu hired Mullers mom to thank Muller for helping campaigning.

BAbeun has campaigning using county resources. Its incredible feds can’t find this, when I personally saw evidence. Baboon corrupted and breaking the law.

Gay babon self nominated for sheriff of the year, where he wrote all letters and send to political allies to sign the letter to selfnominate himself. I saw this in babon house.

Babeu and all his camping and county workers had a lot, believe me a lot of campaigning on county emails and computers.

Gaffmey who couldn’t do hard work, babeu said and hired him as his PR, who knew about babeu being gay and threatening people,so he was to cover babeu’s back

I have prove babeun violating The federalHatch Act, what the feds can’t .

Babeu and blake king went to a trip together to san diego according to babeu.

Pinal employees not only rumored that blake was lazy and didn’t do anything, babeu himself commented blake was incapable, that blake almost cried cause he couldn’t handle to job, too much stress in 2010, but babeu almost forece him to cover the corruption around  babeu

MANGOORTEGA
MANGOORTEGA

If you think Valenzuela is corrupt at PCSO you should see the corruption going on in Superior!! Now thats an investigation you should open!!!! Contact me

bgray59
bgray59

@scottsdalebubbe  I would rather have an elected sheriff accountable to the citizens.  Than an appointed Police accountable to a few politicians like Phoenix had for so many years. 

scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

@pacholopez298 -- Pacho -- Please go back to school and don't post online again until you learn how to write and spell correctly in English.  While your message may be interesting, it gets lost because of your incompetent writing.

VandaDuarte
VandaDuarte

@pacholopez298 Paula Pollock was the fangirl (and fellow Rose Law Group client) who was trying to set up a medical marijuana dispensary when Baboso hired her, amirite? On what specifically has she done a good job? Because I don't see a lot of good work coming out of that office.

DNichols
DNichols

You mean Ru-Paul?

At Desisto was Rumpy Corrupt, or a Pedifile having Sex with a seventeen year old boy entrusted to this Sick Bastard and his School for teen guidance?!!!

Babeu is a Sick Predator.

DNichols
DNichols

Gay Pedifile, Rump Ranger, Pole Smoker, Sperm Burper, many Nick Names are very approriate for this Sick Bastard.

He fits right in to Arizona Politics.

I know Babeu got in a little trouble misshandling Military Gear, but I would sure like to know who gave Babeu's Neo_Nazi Pal J.T. Ready the Six High Tech. Military Rocket Proppelled Grenades (Weapons of Mass Destruction.) found at his Gilbert Home at the time of his Masacre?!!

Who were the Camo Clad Vigilantees, that Murdered the Two Immigrants in Babeu's Pinal County?

Any Ideas Rumpy?

McCain to Babeu in the Commercial:  "Now you are one of us."

pacholopez298
pacholopez298

@MANGOORTEGA  I know what you are talking about John Tamaran ,from superior who pay for paul campain, for promess for a job Pinal county Jail.

pacholopez298
pacholopez298

@VandaDuarte yes, the is her..... Just check her son who is pot smoker,she have her son kids, hum I wonder why!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

@AZHighways @MaskedMagician1967

Why am I not surprised?

atameron2
atameron2

@pacholopez298....Its TAMERON!!!    Before you comment any further....Please Please, Proof read and pick up a dictionary.  Idiot!

VandaDuarte
VandaDuarte

@atameron2 @VandaDuarte Your business or not, the claim is mostly what you were reacting to. Or do you spend your days nitpicking the English of random online commenters who don't refer to John Tameron? It would've been wiser to let it lie. 

atameron2
atameron2

@VandaDuarte  I don't know those answers....as it is none of my business.   I was clearly just stating that Mr. Lopez needs a English lesson.  

VandaDuarte
VandaDuarte

@atameron2  Spelling aside, is the idiot's claim correct? It's at least true that Jon Tameron & his wife did both contribute the legal maximum to Babeu last July, a total of $860 (making them his biggest donors in the county). Did Babeu or anyone associated with him raise the possibility of any benefit to anyone in return?

 
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