The GOP culture of corruption runs deep in Arizona.
ABC News 15 reports that the FBI has been interviewing people in connection with the Pinal County Sheriff’s office’s alleged misuse of funds seized under the RICO law, including claims that such money has been used in ways to benefit Babeu’s congressional campaign. FBI asking new questions about Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu’s use of seized criminal money:
ABC15 has learned agents in the FBI’s Phoenix Division have conducted interviews with several people in recent weeks to talk about so-called RICO funds used by the sheriff’s office.
According to sources with knowledge of the interviews, agents have asked about Sheriff Babeu’s use of a non-profit foundation run by some PCSO employees that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds that come from this seized criminal money.
There are restrictions about how these funds can be used. Sources said agents also are interested in whether Babeu and other staff used any RICO funds or other public resources for campaign purposes since Babeu is currently running for Congress.
It’s not clear if the FBI has opened an official case. When reached Tuesday, a spokesman declined to comment.
Explaining their use of RICO funds, Gaffney also said, “Any request for RICO Funding by our office as you are aware has to be submitted in writing to either the County Attorney’s Office if it is State RICO Funds.”
RICO seizures and spending by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and County Attorney’s office have been heavily criticized by several watchdog groups during the past year.
In July, the American Civil Liberties Union and international law firm Perkins Coie jointly filed a lawsuit against the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and the Pinal County Attorney’s Office. The lawsuit claimed the county agencies were misusing RICO funds and funneling money through the Arizona Public Safety Foundation.
Last month, the Goldwater Institute, a conservative Arizona watchdog group, echoed concerns over Pinal County’s RICO spending and requested files from the Sheriff and County Attorney.
In a February interview with ABC15, Goldwater attorney Jared Blanchard said they decided to look at Pinal County after questions were raised about funds being used to promote Babeu in a way that could benefit his congressional campaign.
Paul Babeu is running for Congress in CD 1, despite being dogged by the scandals that ended his first run for Congress. It’s like he believe Tea-Publican voters just don’t care about his corruption and abuse of power. All he has to do is some xenophobic anti-immigrant hate mongering, and Tea-Publican voters will vote for him.
UPDATE: Sadly, Studboi1 may be right (although this is his campaign’s poll, so …) Paul Babeu Ahead in GOP Primary, According to His Consultant’s Poll:
According to a recent poll performed by Sheriff Paul Babeu’s hired hand, a plurality of likely GOP voters in Arizona’s First Congressional District apparently don’t care about the various allegations swirling about the sheriff’s use of RICO funds.
Nor do these reputedly conservative voters — about 35.7 percent of the poll sample — give a flip that Babeu, 47, admittedly is living with a young male friend 25 years his junior.
Moreover, these same poll respondents are willing to overlook recently aired video of Babeu’s laughing, smiling, and approving of the harsh tactics of a now-shuttered home for wayward teens in Massachusetts.
And, if this poll is to be believed, one-third of GOPers surveyed seemingly do not care that in 2012, Babeu was forced from the Republican primary in Arizona’s Fourth Congressional District after it was revealed that he had: advertised for sexual partners on the gay pickup site Adam4Adam.com; allegedly sent a “dick pic” to a potential paramour he met through the site; and allegedly threatened his ex-lover, a Mexican national, with deportation, either directly, through his attorney, or both.
Here’s the thing: “[T]hose polled were not reminded (or “informed” for the first time) of the trove of negative info about Babeu. Which may help explain why Babeu was the only candidate out of a field of seven to do better than single-digits. ”
So Tea-Publicans in CD 1 are ignorant low information voters who don’t care that their politicians are corrupt. Aren’t you the least bit ashamed of yourselves?