Political opponent calls for Babeu to quit campaign, resign from office


by Crystal Cruz


Posted on February 29, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 29 at 8:41 AM

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. -- Republican state Sen. Ron Gould wants his opponent in the 4th Congressional District to quit his campaign and that's not all he’s asking the sheriff of Pinal County to do.

“We asked for him to step down as the Pinal County sheriff," Gould said.

Gould is calling for Sheriff Paul Babeu's resignation after a combination of serious accusations against him surfaced.

“The recent allegations were the abuse that happened at the DeSisto School about 10 years ago
and the allegations by Paul Babeu's sister that he was having a sexual affair with a 17-year-old student at that school,” Gould said.

Babeu's attorneys told 3TV the claims against the sheriff are flat-out false.

Babeu didn't want to speak on camera about the allegations. Instead, his office sent a statement by spokesman Elias Johnson, which read: "Contrary to media reports, Sheriff Paul Babeu is still the head of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and will remain so through his term as elected by the voters of Pinal County. He's received a wave of support locally and nationally despite repeated attempts to attack his professional career and personal life, all of which he adamantly denies."

“He's an embarrassment to the Republican Party," Gould said. "He's unfit to serve.”

The allegations started last week when Babeu's ex-boyfriend said the sheriff threatened to deport him if he revealed their relationship.

Also last week, Paul Gosar, the incumbent in the district in which Babeu and Gould are running, 
said Babeu should understand victim's rights and be ashamed of his efforts to save his life-long political career.

Democrat Pinal County Supervisor Pete Rios also called for the sheriff's resignation.

Babeu said the call is just political.