It’s time we take a step back and look at the overall picture of what has transpired over the past three years Sheriff Babeu has been running the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
This is a person who came into office talking about “cleaning up” the office and making it “transparent.” All evidence points to the contrary.
In three years we have seen the office used for everything at the expense of law enforcement. Some law enforcement personnel of our county have been used as a de-facto public relations machine for the Sheriff's self promotion. It’s time this comes to an end.
How many more deputies will be placed on indefinite paid administrative leave for minor or no infractions? How many more lawsuits will the county be subject to due to his lack of oversight on the jail? How many more rape kits will fail to be processed on a timely basis?
Other law enforcement agencies across the state use RICO funds to prevent crime. What has RICO paid for in Pinal County? Brand new centennial badges that will be worn for a limited time. Military coins, trips, thousands in Arizona Diamondback tickets and coffee mugs. These are hardly preventative measures for criminal activity – but great PR materials for the sheriff.
In one of the worst economic downturns in our nation since the 1930’s, the office under Sheriff Babeu’s leadership had the temerity to take 25 of his personnel on a week-long, $53,000 junket to St. Louis to witness the boss receiving an award. At the same time, he comes to the Board claiming he needs more and more money to fight crime. For the second fiscal year in a row he is on course to overspend his budget. This disconnect is troubling.
His latest scandal is another “brick in the wall” when it comes to questionable judgments by this Sheriff. It is time Sheriff Babeu open up his eyes and see the damage he has done to the office and the dedicated staff he has under his command. It’s time for the Sheriff to consider the best option and that is to resign immediately so the people of Pinal County can have a law enforcement leader that cares about enforcing the law, not constant campaigning and more recently, doing personal damage control.
Pete Rios, Chair
Pinal County Board of Supervisors