One of three candidates reportedly being vetted by President Donald Trump to head the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency — which oversees the U.S. Border Patrol — is being investigated by federal authorities over his former agency’s use of RICO funds, or money and assets seized during criminal investigations. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scandal-plagued former Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu.
As for his latest brush with scandal, local media outlets in Arizona reported on Monday that FBI agents seized a number of items from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office that were related to Babeu’s time as sheriff. According to Pinalcentral.com, the items include a number of hard drives and cell phones that belonged to members of Babeu’s administration. It’s unclear what federal authorities are investigating, but the publication points out that it “comes months after an organization with ties to PCSO was subpoenaed by the FBI.”
That organization is the Arizona Public Safety Foundation, a non-profit that raises money for law enforcement and other first responders that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in RICO funds that went through Babeu’s office and was signed off on by the now-former county attorney of Pinal County. RICO money is intended to be used to fund additional anti-racketeering operations, so any RICO funds given to the foundation must be used for that purpose.
Babeu’s accusers claim he used the RICO money as a slush fund to evade government purchasing requirements. There’s much more about Babeu’s other scandals at the link above.
Babeu earned his first mention here on JMG years ago when he was outed via his Adam4Adam profile. Last year his ultimately failed bid for the US House was endorsed by gay former GOP US House Rep. Jim Kolbe, who was outed in 1996 after his vote for DOMA, although in 2013 Kolbe was a signatory to an amicus brief in support of the repeal of Prop 8. Babeu has stated that marriage should be left for the states to decide. Last year the Phoenix New Times reported that Babeu is currently living with a now 23 year-old whom he met in 2012.
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: In March 2012 the Mexican national ex-boyfriend of Babeu sued him for $1M, alleging that Babeu had threatened to have him deported if the boyfriend were to out him. Babeu’s 2012 run for the US House fizzled shortly thereafter, but not before it was revealed that he had spoken at an event staged by a group that wants to end illegal and most legal immigration and wants to end automatic citizenship for children born in the United States.