News reports accurately reported the decision by the Pima County Attorney’s office following investigation of what appeared to be the crime of tampering or attempting to tamper with public records.
Let us be clear that no charges were filed solely because of insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the disgraced Sheriff Babeu’s assistant possessed intent to defraud or deceive.
Jaded observers might be forgiven for thinking, yes Babeu’s spokesman got off the hook on a technicality, albeit an important technicality.
However, what was clearly established by the Pima County investigation is that Tim Gaffney, PCSO Director of Communications, did remove thousands of emails from his county computer.
Additionally, it is an undisputed fact that the investigation began because the emails were deleted after a public records request was made for those emails by both the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Attorney General.
Also undisputed is that Babeu’s spokesman deleted the public records from his computer instead of using them to fulfill those public records requests as required by state law.
In typical fashion, Sheriff Babeu perversely blames others for the investigation, hoping the public will not remember that Babeu’s apparent threats to deport his Mexican lover is the initial reason for the still ongoing investigation by the Arizona Attorney General.
Finally, and fortuitously, despite deliberate deletion of the emails, backup copies of the records were found and are in custody of the County Information Technology office.
When the contents of those deleted emails are disclosed, as they surely will be, the public will witness the extent to which county government resources were abused by Team Babeu in unlawful furtherance of the Sheriff’s lust for uninhibited political power.
The public is again left to ponder the question: Will Sheriff Babeu and his accomplices be indicted before or after the election process winds down?
This is not a minor consideration for voters to contemplate as they go to the polls or cast early ballots on the Sheriff’s race and other county offices being sought by members of the tarnished Team Babeu.