Identity of Sheriff Babeu's ex-boyfriend and accuser revealed

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by Mike Gertzman

azfamily.com

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 20 at 5:58 PM

PHOENIX -- 3TV has learned the identity of the ex-boyfriend of Pinal County Sheriff and congressional candidate Paul Babeu.

Jose Orozco, 34, has accused the sheriff of misconduct. He gave an exclusive interview to CNN. The network blurred Orozco's face and did not use his last name.

Orozco says that the sheriff and his attorney threatened him with deportation if the man revealed their relationship.

CNN's Miguel Marquez got an exclusive interview with the man. Orozco told Marquez that he felt "used" and "threatened."

"I got a text from him, directly, on my phone, saying that I will never have business; that my family will be contacted," said Orozco.

When Marquez asked Orozco if he thought Babeu was trying to make him leave the country Orozco responded by saying, "Maybe. He just -- what I think he just want me to keep me as far as, so I don't say anything about him or about his behavior."

Babeu's attorney says the sheriff never threatened Orozco.

He says the only contact with the man was asking Orozco, a volunteer on Babeu's congressional campaign, to turn over user names and passwords to the campaign's social media sites.

Orozco allegedly hacked into those websites.

Since the allegations surfaced, Babeu has been forced to confirm he is gay.

On Saturday, Babeu denied claims he tried to threaten Orozco, who is Hispanic, with deportation if their past relationship was made public. The man's allegations were first published Friday in The New Times, a Phoenix alternative weekly magazine.

Orozco's lawyer would only say the Mexican national currently resides in the U.S. legally but declined to address whether he has always had legal status here.

Babeu, a first-term sheriff who has risen to national prominence with his strong opposition to illegal immigration and smuggling, says the accusations were an attempt to hurt his political career.

He vowed to continue his campaign in Arizona's rural western 4th Congressional District seat.

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