Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 9:35 p.m.
Sources inside the Pinal County Sheriff's Office say Sheriff Paul Babeu is prepared to fire controversial deputy Louie Puroll tomorrow.
These sources say that an internal affairs investigation sustained all of the allegations against Puroll stemming from a series of wide-ranging interviews I conducted with the deputy in the aftermath of "Pinalcchio."
In that first story, published September 22, we examined the troubling details of what Puroll claimed was a wild gunfight last April with drug smugglers in the desert between Casa Grande and Gila Bend.
The deputy claimed he was grazed in the back during the clash, though our piece raised numerous questions about his account, and about a less-than-thorough investigation by his peers at the PCSO.
Puroll was placed on administrative leave with pay shortly after my second story, "Whitewash,
" was published last November 23.
That story included several remarkable quotes by the talkative Puroll, including his contention that members of the Mexican drug cartels had attempted to bribe him several times at a truck stop between Phoenix and Tucson.
That news apparently came as a total surprise to Sheriff Babeu, who has risen to national prominence as a darling of the anti-illegal immigration set.
Puroll also told me that a pal of his had offered to kill me because of "Pinalcchio," though the deputy insisted that the unnamed gent may not have been serious at the time.
Puroll is a 14-year veteran of central Arizona agency. He has been a so-called "range deputy" for years and also has been Pinal County's Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) assigned to duties with the federal Office of Homeland Security.
We don't have many more details than this to report at present, but our information is solid.
Promise to write more tomorrow as things hit.