Sheriff Babeu plays fast and loose with county ca$h

“Flirting with whimsy” comes at high price

Self-promoting Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu apparently doesn’t mind spending money he says he doesn’t have in order to give himself a boost in exposure. Using RICO (racketeering money that comes from seized assets) and jail enhancement funds at a time when he claims his office is too cash strapped to combat drug cartels and he is actually soliciting public donations to provide deputies with rifles, Babeu spent over $53,000 to send 25 people to a week-long conference. He was the recipient of a national award based upon his own hyperbole.

The daily newspaper reports that records show about half of the June 18-22 St. Louis, Missouri  junket was paid by court fees given to the sheriff’s office to improve county jails. The other half came from seized cash and property intended to fund investigations and prosecutions. Scroll through the news report to get a handle on some of the excursions, charges and reimbursement submittals. Be sure to read the title of topics covered during the seminar. Warning: You might have difficulty reading while your head is shaking back and forth in disbelief.

Among the department personnel represented at the National Sheriffs’ Association annual conference was a school resource officer, at least three detention officers, several deputies and three department volunteers.

Babeu and his entourage stayed at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand hotel at a cost of $28,885. The website describes the luxury hotel as a refuge where “Classic elegance flirts with touches of whimsy to evoke the perfect balance of class and comfort.”

Flirting with whimsy comes a quite a price. But we think that money could better be spent buying a few rifles for Babeu’s under-armed deputies.

11 Responses to Sheriff Babeu plays fast and loose with county ca$h

  1. Vince says:

    If egos wore hats there wouldn’t be a big enough one for this dude. According to the news report, what he did was described as legal but not passing the smell test. I doubt that anything would dissuade this character. He has his sights set on something grander than Pinal County.The reason he took a large contingent to St. Louis is he wanted to provide his own cheering section. That’s all he’s been doing since he first appeared on the scene.

  2. Frankly Speaking says:

    “Flirting with whimsy?” SRAZ and the Renaissance hotel copy writers may be on to more than either of you know.

  3. Ricky Lujan says:

    The industry I work in offers annual conventions too. However, as a private sector worker I pay my own way. Sure wish I had a Sheriff Babeu to stick it to the taxpayer on my behalf.

    By the way Sheriff Babeu, how’s that danged fence coming along?

    What a disgrace!

    • Night Owl says:

      Ricky: Are you trying to give me nighmares before I sign off for the night? Watching McLiar and Baboon walking along the border and doing their best to deceive voters is still an infuriating sight. Also, I wonder how Cindy takes it when Baboon says to McLiar, “Senator, you’re one of us.” Given the rumor mill, I would have thought McLiar’s handlers would have changed that line.

  4. Josh G. says:

    If Babeu and 25 selected PCSO studs want to “flirt with whimsy” (or whatever the kids are calling it nowadays) in a swanky St Louis hotel room, I say let ’em have at it. But is it too much to ask for him to pay for his indulgences the old-fashioned way, by sending out his zillionth fundraising letter (“The world is upside down — sometimes it’s hard for me to get out of bed in the morning …”), or getting mommy and daddy to take out another mortgage on their house?

    • Blackbeard says:

      You seem to be missing the point on the “whimsy” rumors circling around Paul Babeu. It’s not what “the kids” are up to “nowadays.”

    • Kim says:

      This has been up on the Arizona Republic’s blog for a year. It’s from Babeu’s sister:

    • Heywood James says:

      Mom and dad have been paying for Paul and his little brother Shaun’s lifestyles for years. Paul and Shaun have lived together in the same home for 7 or 8 years in Johnson Ranch. Dad’s $90k HELoC and then loses a home to foreclosure? The boys have drained the parents. Who is left? The public and non-profits?

  5. Villanova says:

    This is an interesting article on the Babeu boys in the January 2011 edition of AZ Attorney magazine: