Florence, Ariz. – The ex-boyfriend of Sheriff Paul Babeu worked for the lawman’s politician brother during a campaign, it was revealed Wednesday.
The Mexican national, who alleges Babeu threatened him with deportation if he ever spoke about their relationship, was paid for the work he did on the sheriff’s brother’s campaign Website, reports ABC 15.
The news outlet indicates Shaun Babeu was elected as a Pinal County justice of the peace in 2010, with his campaign records showing Jose Garcia Orozco was paid $79 for services related to “Website registration.”
Although Orozco recently told CNN he is in the United States on a 10-year tourist visa, ABC 15 found that in most cases, visitors using tourist visas are not allowed to receive money for work while they are in the U.S.
A statement released late Wednesday to the local news outlet indicates Orozco’s attorney anticipates releasing a statement Thursday.
The sheriff, who is running as a Republican for Congress, publicly denied threatening Orozco, however, acknowledged he is gay.
Orozco told the Phoenix New Times he met Sheriff Babeu in Oct. 2006 on a gay dating Website. He alleges Babeu told him he loved him and that he believed the two were a monogamous couple, until he suspected the lawman was lying. This resulted in a souring of the relationship and created a rift that grew between the men.
Orozco provided text messages to the Times, which were sent to him by Babeu, one of them saying, “You can never have business after this and you will harm me and many others in the process… including yourself & your family.”
Babeu claims that Orozco took control of his campaign and social networking Websites without permission, posting derogatory comments about the sheriff. Babeu’s attorney and campaign manager, Chris DeRose, sent Orozco a cease-and-desist letter, threatening to sue if he did not remove the negative messages and turn the various Web accounts back over to Babeu.
Recent reports indicate the Arizona Solicitor General, Dave Cole, will handle the investigation into Orozco’s allegations of Babeu’s abuse of power.
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