2012 Election | Arizona | Crime | Immigration | Paul Babeu | Republican Party

Sheriff Paul Babeu Cleared Of Wrongdoing

Gay sherriff paul babeu

Things are suddenly looking good for Sheriff Paul Babeu, of Pinal County, Arizona. Recall: He's the famed immigration hawk who was considered a rising star in the GOP, with appearances on FOX News, cameos in John McCain campaign ads, and a Romney campaign chairmanship -- until the Phoenix New Times broke the story of his long-term gay fling with an illegal immigrant named Jose Orozco, whom it appeared Sheriff Babeu had promised to deport if the young man divulged details of his and Babeu's relationship.

After the story broke, Babeu immediately came out of the closet, canceled his scheduled run for Congress, cut his ties to the Romney campaign, and recomitted himself to Sherififng. On Tuesday he handily won his primary election, and yesterday he was cleared of wrongdoing in the  Orozco flap.

From Reuters:

"The Attorney General's Office will not file charges against either Babeu or Orozco," Solicitor General Dave Cole said in a statement released on Friday.

"The investigation determined that Babeu did not commit any criminal violations and further concluded that, although Orozco conducted himself in a manner that may constitute a violation of the law, there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction on anything more than a misdemeanor charge."

Sheriff Babeu was pleased that the "truth has won out," and blamed the whole scandal on election-year-politics.

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  1. The guy is jerk but I still want to be handcuffed by him.

    Posted by: lukebrux | Sep 1, 2012 9:25:54 AM

  2. Typical Kapo.

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 1, 2012 9:54:30 AM

  3. Too bad he can't be cleared of being an authority-abusing sleaze ball. Nothing can buy you character. But of course, he's in Arizona, where they don't care about character or doing what's right.

    Posted by: luminum | Sep 1, 2012 10:15:55 AM

  4. This guy is being villified by some gays because he's against illegal immigration and according to some gay people we as gays are not entitled to other opinions on political issues that don't all involve being extremely far left. I'm a proud democrat, the republicans will never garner my support and I am and will always be against illegal immigration. Telling people what to think is never a good strategy in getting them inspired to think like you.

    Posted by: Jordan | Sep 1, 2012 10:32:03 AM

  5. Is this guys worst offense that he's against illegals being here? It seems like conservative republicans who are hetero gain more respect on here and things are taken lightly on them, even if they are against our rights. But an openly gay man having any views that don't lean 100% liberal gets you labeled as a devil.

    He's done nothing to spite me as a gay man. So good on him for his success.

    Posted by: Aarron Hughes | Sep 1, 2012 10:34:16 AM

  6. I've been very closely following his story and I'm hardly a conservative but the latino boyfriend is the one who always came out looking shady to meet. Setting this man up, covering his tracks then going on attack mode with very little evidence to back up his claims. The boyfriend had a lot to gain by potentially lying, and as it stands, he didn't come out on top in this either. I wasn't there so I'll reserve jugment and wish babeu well on his quest.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Sep 1, 2012 10:37:06 AM

  7. I too have followed this story for some time, and agree that he's done some things that are morally upsetting, but not necessarily illegal. At least he's no longer a schoolmaster shtupping 17-year-old boys.

    If he is a capable sheriff, and his constituents seem to think so, leave him be. The uniform flatters him.

    Posted by: Tessie Tura | Sep 1, 2012 10:41:34 AM

  8. Congrats to him.
    He's openly out, even if by non optional circumstances, he isn't hiding who he is and is actually building a bridge with people who have very little exposure toward gays. Not every gay person HAS to have the same politics. Gay people being forced into a POv by virtue of being gay seems extremely homophobic to me actually. I happen to be a lifelong democrat, but that doesn't mean I'm not entitled to be free thinking on isolated issues. Like being for a womans right to choose, but also for the death penalty and (gasp) against undocumented immigrants. To strip gay people of having the freedoms to have personal beliefs in the political arena strictly because they are gay, and demand we all support the same causes strikes me as pretty homophobic to me. It really does.

    Posted by: SeaCellsSteart | Sep 1, 2012 10:41:47 AM

  9. He's not hiding who he is
    Seems comfortable and pretty vocal being gay
    Comfortable and vocal now on two seperate ocassions speaking on the importance of being out, AND how he plans on being a representative for all.
    Isn't asking for harm toward anyone or wishing ill will.

    I know we as gays love nothing more than eating our own, and ripping any gay person in the public eye apart (be it a liberal gay, libertarian gay, conservative gay, singer gay, actor gay, every gay) but this is just plain getting tired.

    He doesn't share all my views, but that doesn't mean I'm going after him with a torch like this site does. This guy is actually starting to get some support from me, and clearly a few others, because this childish smear campaign against him based on accusations is looking petty. And it's clearly not working. And I say this as a longtime towleroad poster, and active member on here and proud member of the LGBT community. Give it a break.

    Posted by: Mateo | Sep 1, 2012 11:19:36 AM

  10. I'm gonna go ahead and join the bandwagon wishing this site would stop it's fixation on badgering this guy. I haven't seen anything to warrant it, minus the fact that he happens to not believe in an open border system where anyone and everyone can just freely enter this country with no rules & regulations. Which country does that occur in? Name one country that has zero policies regarding securing their borders and mandating how to enter/legal methods to enter. There are none in this world who adopt that mentality. Some people just couldn't care less about the state of this nation, so they really couldn't care less about the consequences of not securing our borders and having laws in place that enforce our immigration process. I'm as gay as it gets, but if being against illegal immigration and even stating it makes one deplorable, well guess what? there's millions of straight, bisexual, gay, black, asian, white, muslim, and everything else who are against it. Why? because they actually believe in rules and respecting laws. Aparentally that's this Sheriffs worse offense too.

    Posted by: KL | Sep 1, 2012 11:24:48 AM

  11. Why is it considered badgering Babeu to report on his case? It wasn't the gay community that squashed his Congressional campaign. It was the Republicans who once held him up as a hero and then dropped him as soon as the boyfriend scandal hit and he was revealed to be gay and having a fling with an immigrant. His friends at CPAC weren't so keen on him then. His Republican funding dried right up. No one can blame that on a gay smear campaign: it was all about Babeu's hypocrisy/questionable ethics and Republican homophobia.

    Now that he's out of the closet (speaking of truth winning out) and his cards are on the table maybe he'll stick to sheriffing and think twice about cozying up to the national and AZ Republican party who believe that he, as a gay man, is basically undeserving of civil rights.

    Posted by: Ernie | Sep 1, 2012 11:47:28 AM

  12. Ever since I first saw him several months back, I've thought he's kinda hot. But why would he want to hook up with an illegal immigrant? Is the selection of men in his area slim pickings?

    Posted by: ? | Sep 1, 2012 11:52:08 AM

  13. I'm sorry but this guy doesn't offend me as much as he seems to offend the writers/creator of this site? I've followed his story and I'm still not finding him to be the monster he's being painted out to be. Actually finding myself kinda happy for him, and hoping he can enjoy a happy life now that he's out and seemingly doing well. But whatev I guess.

    Posted by: Dynex | Sep 1, 2012 11:55:36 AM

  14. @ Dynex
    Well, he's a gay man who dared not align himself in lock step with EVERY single issue gay men are all supposed to believe in - OR ELSE!
    You clearly didn't get the meme. If we don't champion all environmental issues, constantly speak out against global warming, if we don't all believe in illegal immigration, then you are a vile gay, deserve to be dragged through the mud by other gays, and frankly, you're not even really gay. Being gay means you are NOT allowed an opinion on other unrelated issues and topics. How dare you even question this, and think for yourself. Shame on you. Because you believe in gay rights, you're supposed to also be for everything else, with no limitations, and are not entitled to the freedoms to think for yourself. Come on now. You should know this by now.

    :) Best of luck and congratulations to Sheriff Paul Babeu and continued success to him.

    Posted by: King Lion | Sep 1, 2012 12:01:50 PM

  15. As Tessie Tura said earlier in the thread, "At least he's no longer a schoolmaster shtupping 17-year-old boys."

    Posted by: Cinesnatch | Sep 1, 2012 12:07:39 PM

  16. Babeu was and is an A-hole that would have gotten his closet behind to congress and vote with republicans against our rights before he was outed! ....So stop defending this SOB........... Babeu, I see your friends read toweleoad.

    Posted by: Art | Sep 1, 2012 12:10:46 PM

  17. I live in Phoenix and have been following this story. If he had won that seat he would have towed the party line and voted for every anti gay, woman and immigration bill that came across his desk. I am glad that he is out but let's not fool ourselves into thinking he would have been an ally in DC

    Posted by: Sw4087 | Sep 1, 2012 12:22:45 PM

  18. Not sure why I should care about this. Babeu may be an ass or a great guy for all I know about him. He's been cleared of wrongdoing and it looks like he's going to remain as sheriff for awhile. Ok. Hope that goes well for him. Next...

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Sep 1, 2012 12:45:16 PM

  19. @Art: I have a feeling several of Babeu's friends commenting here are actually one friend under different names. Either that or his friends share the same writing style and capitalization rules. And kind of odd that "they" keep saying that gay people can't have a variety of opinions on immigration since no one is suggesting that we must think the same on the issue. That wasn't the story. The Republicans (he wasn't looking for liberal support) stopped supporting him not because of his immigration stance but because he's gay and had a messy gay scandal attached to him.

    Posted by: Ernie | Sep 1, 2012 12:51:08 PM

  20. I honestly believed that he threatened his BF with deportation for calling him out. This investigation was all smokes and mirrors. Illegal immigrants are vilified in AZ so I doubt the boyfriend would have had much luck with this case. Remember that this is a state with Jan Brewer(!!) as governor.

    Posted by: napro | Sep 1, 2012 1:17:05 PM

  21. He didn't exercise the best judgment regarding boyfriends, which doesn't do him well as sheriff. And the investigation was largely there to end his campaign for congress, so now that that's over he's free to go back to being a mere sheriff and not embarrass the state R. party. It's as if the law and the voters don't count.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 1, 2012 2:46:10 PM

  22. people aren't taking issue with him because he has "different views" but because of the SPECIFICITY of the views he holds, has held, and how he's gone about them.

    of course, this nuance will be lost on the plebes.

    a right-wing white outed-against-his-will homosexual coward in Arizona, continuing to Suck Right to win the favor of the people he never had the balls to come out with on his own time and terms.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Sep 1, 2012 2:53:11 PM

  23. I'm trapped in Arizona while the SigO finishes his degree, so I can't avoid what's lurking outside my door. What is starting to scare me is this morning when NPR reported Babeu was found not guilty of abuse of this position (and it should be noted, his ex-boyfriend (who is not an illegal alien) was also cleared of any wrong doing in the same investigation (Babeu had done a "Well, he screwed up my social media stuff!")the next news story was that the utterly vile Sheriff Joe Arpaio had also been cleared of any wrong doing in a federal investigation about abuse of power against a judge and two politicians that resulted in the disbarment of two of the county attorneys that were involved (Arpaio is still under federal investigation for racial profiling by the DOJ, as well as another one for violation of civil rights. Related to him being found not guilty of the abuse of power lawsuit, he had arrested 2 executives with a local newspaper who had been critical of him, trying to force them to reveal their sources. Earlier this week an appeals court granted permission for them to sue Arpaio for abuse of power). Last week, a Republican state representative who resigned rather than face an ethnics investigation for domestic violence was found acquited last week.

    I could sadly, go on, but there seems to be a pattern where Republicans are placed under investigation and then Republicans find them not to be guilty of anything.

    Posted by: Ty Nolan | Sep 1, 2012 3:11:30 PM

  24. I'm against illegal immigration too. And gay. And a democrat. Wow, guess that makes me and the other posters just as 'bad' as this guy. Get over yourselves. I'm proudly liberal, but some liberal gays really make it seem as though because we're gay we should be limited on freedom of opinions and automatically should support all causes. I have family who live near border towns and I sympathize for the hell they go through because of law breakers. Laws are in place for everyone to follow: white, black, brown, purple. They are not in place because people are mean, but because there's rules in every bracket of life. Honor them.

    Posted by: Sean J. | Sep 1, 2012 5:15:12 PM

  25. Meh, is he an a hole? Maybe.maybe not. I don't respect any republican gay, but I also don't disrespect someone just becaus they are against illegal immigration because many peeps from different walks of life are against it. Still, him being a republican makes it hard to support him because his party is so eagerly against LGBT rights, so you wonder why an LGBT would align with them.

    Posted by: TruLevi | Sep 1, 2012 5:18:30 PM

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