Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu today emphatically denied allegations that he or his attorney threatened to deport a jilted ex-lover after their relationship soured, as a Phoenix newspaper reported on Friday, and said he plans to remain sheriff and continue his campaign for higher office.
Babeu, a Republican who is running for Congress in the 4th Congressional District, just as emphatically defended his right to take sexually explicit photographs of himself and send them to boyfriends.
â€śWeâ€™re talking about personal liberties and freedoms,â€ť he told dozens of reporters Saturday afternoon at a press conference.
Though he said he had not posted or sent explicit photos of himself â€śfor some extreme time,â€ť Babeu did not say he wouldnâ€™t do so again in the future.
Flanked by dozens of supporters, including many of his top sheriffâ€™s commanders who were wearing their uniforms, Babeu addressed claims made Friday by the Phoenix New Times. The alternative weekly newspaper published a story on its website early Friday evening in which his ex-boyfriend and the ex-boyfriendâ€™s attorney said the sheriff and one of his closest aides threatened to deport the man if he spoke publicly of his years-long romantic relationship with Babeu.
â€śAt no time did I or anyone who represents me threaten deportation. Ever,â€ť Babeu said of the allegation. â€śItâ€™s blatantly and completely false.â€ť