Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Ariz., has been cleared of any wrongdoing related to abuse-of-power allegations lodged against him by his ex-boyfriend, whose admissions outed the Republican sheriff very publicly earlier this year.
Arizona Solicitor General Dave Cole said today that there are no indications Babeu abused his power to threaten his ex-boyfriend, who is also a Mexican immigrant, with deportation, according to a report by the Associated Press. Cole also cleared Jose Orozco, Babeu’s ex-boyfriend, of any wrongdoing, including allegations of property and identity theft, the AP reports.
Following the explosive Arizona News Times story outing Babeu, the sheriff dropped his bid for a seat in Congress, a position he was favored to win. However the sheriff this week won the Republican nomination in his re-election bid in Pinal County.
“The truth has won out in the end,” Babeu said in a statement, according to the AP. “I was attacked personally, professionally and politically with these false allegations, and today, I’m fully cleared. It’s no surprise that these attacks came during an election year in a failed attempt to destroy me.”
Babeu had been a darling of the Republican party, with many calling him a rising star within the GOP. After the news investigation into his three-year relationship, he also stepped down as Arizona co-chairman for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
The ordeal left the typically loose-lipped fellow Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio mostly speechless. ”He’s going to have to work through this. I’m not going to give him any advice,” the Maricopa County Sheriff said at an appearance on CNN in February. Arpaio has been battling the Justice Department for the past three years over allegations his office has shown a pattern of discrimination against Latinos.