Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu — who became the face of Arizona border security nationally after he started stridently opposing illegal immigration — threatened his Mexican ex-lover with deportation when the man refused to promise never to disclose their years-long relationship, the former boyfriend and his lawyer tell New Times.
The shirtless self-portrait is eerily reminiscent of the one that took down GOP congressman Chris Lee early last year.
According to the New Times story, the alleged lover is also here in the United States illegally. If the affair was real, this fact alone would obviously be very damaging to Babeu’s reputation as a tough fighter for border security, and also his prospects for his congressional race. He is running in Arizona’s 4th congressional district.
Babeu’s attorney says it’s really all about — get this — a computer hacking.
Babeu didn’t respond to requests for comment by publication time for this article, but his attorney, DeRose, says the dispute between Jose and the sheriff concerned Jose’s work on Babeu’s websites. He says Jose was a former volunteer who hacked into a campaign website.
DeRose didn’t immediately address the other claims against him and the sheriff, except to say, “I never threatened to deport anybody” and that “[Babeu’s] not threatening anybody.”
A quick search for a more vehement response or denial from Mr. DeRose didn’t reveal anything yet. The story, however, has enough of a powder keg feel that we should be hearing more from both sides soon.