Did Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu employ another law enforcement officer to pressure Jose Orozco, the sheriff's ex-boyfriend, to keep quiet about his relationship with the sheriff?
Orozco believes so, and he revealed that detail in a $1 million claim his attorneys filed on March 2 against Pinal County and Babeu for various alleged wrongs, including a violation of his civil rights.
"Mr. Orozco received a telephone call on September 5, 2011, at approximately 2:30 a.m. from a person whom Mr. Orozco believes was in law enforcement per Sheriff Babeu's request. After he identified himself and who he was calling for, Mr. Orozco hung up the phone," according to the claim.
The claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, also includes further details of what Orozco was doing online that was riling up Babeu and his attorney, Chris DeRose.
In a January 11 e-mail, DeRose chastised Melissa Weiss-Riner, Orozco's attorney, for not keeping the reins on her client.
He wrote," This is your client," and attached the following web comment he apparently believed that Orozco posted on Chino Valley News' website.
"This guys portraits himself as a public service helper, as hero," Orozco commented on a news story about Babeu. "The facts are his own speech and a microphone. he makes false statements and alter statistics. The real paul babeu is the one who has a profile on www.adam4adam.com advertising for sex with photo t-shirtless and dirty conversations with gays. For all conservatives, being gay is a big issue, but having a weird sexual behavior with young males and dishonesty is a really big trouble for this superstar." [sic]
Attorneys for both parties -- Babeu and Orozco -- had agreed that their clients would walk away and leave each other alone. In DeRose's heavy-handed e-mail to Weiss-Riner, he wrote that "lawyers who don't deliver what they promise are found out in a hurry."
Found out in a hurry?
Was he going to report her to the Arizona Bar Association over allegations that her client posted his opinion on a news story?
And, well, as it turns out, the comment does have truth in it.
Let's break down the comment attributed to Orozco:
This guys portraits himself as a public service helper, as hero.
[Babeu] described the accomplishments of his department under his leadership as "nothing short of Herculean," especially in the way he has cut emergency response time in half. -- Babeu on Newsmax.TV
The facts are his own speech and a microphone. he makes false statements and alter statistics.
The Arizona Republic showcased two fact-checks and found that there was little, if any, evidence to support claims that the sheriff was publicly making about the number of illegal immigrants who enter the United States through Arizona and the number of drug cartel cells in Pinal County.
The real paul babeu is the one who has a profile on www.adam4adam.com advertising for sex with photo t-shirtless and dirty conversations with gays.
New Times published (and it's linked above) a screen shot of Babeu's profile on adam4adam.com, and during a press conference, the sheriff said he didn't deny the authenticity of the photos. We also published excepts of explicit text messages that Pinal County's top cop had the poor judgement to send to an individual he didn't even know.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
For all conservatives, being gay is a big issue.
But having a weird sexual behavior with young males and dishonesty is a really big trouble for this superstar.
Lucy Babeu, Paul Babeu's sister, alleges the sheriff was involved in a relationship with a 17-year-old boy who attended the DeSisto School in Massachusetts -- an institution for troubled teens where Babeu served as headmaster and executive director.
And clearly, it has caused "really big trouble" for Babeu, whose approval ratings have plummeted in recent polls.