By Roberto Reveles
The headlines this past week read: “State won’t charge Babeu, Voyles over RICO fund misuse.”
As one who, years ago, from this very same Call to the Public space, continually questioned top Republican vote-getter Paul Babeu’s misuse of public funds, it comes as no surprise that, once again, Babeu slithers away without consequences.
This time, the Attorney General concluded that Babeu’s actions, “didn’t rise to the level of criminal activities.” And why did they never find proof of criminal activity? Because, as the AG’s statement put it, the sheriff’s “record keeping was so poor” — a clear call for timely and retrospective county-level auditing, which this Board has heard before.
This depressing decision by Arizona’s top enforcer of the la w sadly illustrates that, yes, some powerfully connected law and order hypocrites indeed are above the law.
Move over Sheriff Joe Arpaio; make room for Sheriff Paul Babeu.
Once again, I suggest that the public must continue standing up against abuse of the public trust, regardless of the political ties that bind and regardless of how big the badge or the cowboy hat.
Sadly, it seems that our nation’s reference to “equal justice under the law” is becoming an empty platitude, rather than a principled commitment applicable to all members of the public, whether in low or high places of society, whether a prominent member of the predominant political party or not.
Nonetheless, disposition of an unpublicized, and perhaps continuing, Pinal County investigation by the FBI, gives faint hope to those who still hold onto the quaint notion that no one should be above the law.
That quaint belief, however, will be further tested by tomorrow’s expected release of the investigation report involving the petulant, but powerful occupant of the White House.
Equal justice under the law! No one is above the law!
What will Arizonans and Americans demand and get? Core values or empty platitudes?