Lydia Guzman, a prominent immigrant rights' activist, has asked Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy L. Austin of the U.S. Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the allegations against Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
Read details of those allegations leveled by his ex-boyfriend, Jose, in New Times' web exclusive.
Guzman, the executive director of Respecto-Respect, a non-profit organization that aids immigrants, tells New Times that she considers Jose a hero in the migrant community.
"If they see the courage that Jose has, perhaps others will come forward when they're being intimidated," she says, adding that it is inspiring that he can come out, when he has so much on the line, and expose his private life.
She says that Austin confirmed that he received her letter and expects to provide a formal response tomorrow.
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Here are some excerpts:
"I write to request that an investigation be launched into the Pinal County Sheriff, Paul Babeu, in the matter related to an allegation of abuse of power. Recently an article in the Phoenix New Times reported that a migrant individual had an affair with Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona. The article detailed text messages, pictures and threats that are unbecoming of an elected sheriff.
The threat was to have this young man deported if he shared this information. The item of concern is whether or not the Sheriff abused his position of authority, as an elected official and as a law enforcement officer, to make these threats in exchange for this young man's silence."
Read the full letter.