Give the Arizona Republic a point for reporting about the lawsuit about to be filed by lawyers representing Jose Orozco, Pinal County Sheriff Babeu’s former lover. Take away ten for its selective coverage.
Orozco, a Mexican national, accuses Babeu of intimidation and threats of deportation if he revealed their four-year romantic relationship. Jose is no piker. Going for the big bucks, he filed a notice of claim indicating his intention to sue both Sheriff Paul Babeu and the taxpayers of Pinal County — for a cool $1 million in damages.
The Republic quotes from the notice:
“Mr. Orozco’s reputation and integrity have been tarnished, (and) he continues to fear for the safety of himself and his family,” the notice states. “Should this matter proceed to trial, the jury will be presented with numerous areas of emotional distress which Mr. Orozco has experienced as a result of this incident, including but not limited to the mental anguish which obviously accompanies public humiliation and embarrassment, fear, panic, stress, ridicule and the various types of mental anguish which arise out of this shocking and outrageous incident.”
Oddly missing among the facts is any reference to Babeu’s time as headmaster at the problem-plagued DeSisto “therapeutic” school. The beleaguered school was in the midst of several firestorms when it closed after the death of its owner Michael DeSisto — among them allegations of sexual, emotional and physical abuse of students, and massive financial problems including fraud and falsified credentials.
Babeu faces additional problems associated with Orozco’s time as a campaign worker. As a foreign national on a tourist visa, which he claims is his status, he is precluded from any such employment.
Paul Babeu’s older sister Lucy Babeu, tells even more shocking tales. Paul Babeu moved a 17-year-old former male student into his home. Babeu, 43, defended his actions, saying the young man was “his boyfriend” and he “loved him.” It’s all here in a detailed reported and video compiled by ABC 15.
Attorney General Tom Horne has designated former Superior Court Judge and law professor David Cole, his office’s Solicitor General, to conduct an independent investigation. It will look into all allegations that have been made, against both Babeu and Orozco.
One-term Sheriff Babeu asserts his congressional campaign is still alive. Don’t bet on it. It looks more corpse-like with every passing day.