Deputy Louie Puroll Fired by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu Over Comments Made to New Times Reporter

purollhat.jpg
Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy Louie Puroll is out of the job.
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office confirmed today what New Times first reported last night: Deputy Louie Puroll has been fired over comments he made to New Times reporter Paul Rubin following Rubin's story on Puroll's account of what happened the day the deputy claims he was shot by drug smugglers in the Arizona desert.

In an e-mail from PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney, the Sheriff's Office says it found Puroll to have violated 10 rules of conduct, including the PCSO's policies on truthfulness, media and public information, and performance of duty. The investigation by the PCSO's Professional Standards Unit also found Puroll guilty of incompetence, and having violated the PCSO's codes of ethics and conduct.

In other words, Puroll lied.

The firing stems from comments Puroll made to Rubin published in Rubin's story Whitewash. Puroll told Rubin a few details about some encounters he's had with members of a Mexican drug cartel.


Here's an excerpt:

Puroll tells me that representatives of "the Mexican cartel" have approached him four or five times at this restaurant over the years wanting to do business.

"They didn't want me to sell or buy the stuff, just that they'd make it worth my while to look the other way out in the desert if I bumped into them," he says.

Puroll says he didn't arrest any of these men, call for backup, or write reports about the encounters.

Puroll also told Rubin about a potential threat against the reporter's life made by a "rancher of Mexican decent," who offered to off Rubin for some of things written in his first article on Puroll, Pinalcchio.

Here's an excerpt:

After four hours of dialogue, I shut down my tape-recorder at the truck stop.

Puroll tells me: "Now that that's off, let me tell you something. You're lucky to be alive right now."

The deputy explains that a friend of his, a "rancher of Mexican descent," recently offered to murder me because of what I wrote in "Pinalcchio."

I ask the deputy what he'd said to his pal.

"I said that it wouldn't be a good idea, not to worry about it," he says evenly.

I ask him why he's telling me this. He sees me taking notes, but continues.

"Thought you'd like to know some people were upset with you, that's all," the deputy replies, smiling slightly.

Gaffney tells New Times that despite Puroll's firing being the result of the deputy's dishonesty, the Sheriff's Office still stands behind Puroll's account of what happened the day he says he was shot by drug smugglers.

Sheriff Paul Babeu says the following:

"I stood by my deputy after he was shot by drug smugglers in April because his statements to both criminal and internal investigators were consistent, supported by physical evidence, radio transmissions, GPS coordinates, other victims/ witnesses and later through gunshot residue testing conducted on the shirt he was wearing. The manner in which Deputy Puroll conducted himself following the shooting investigation when interviewed by Reporter Paul Rubin brought great discredit to himself and the men and women representing our sworn law enforcement profession."

Puroll, meanwhile, has formally appealed his termination.


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36 comments
Amyshelley28
Amyshelley28

Wow this is just so unreal how people just turn things around to make themselves look better. crazy he was just doing his job. he was the one that got shot doing his job.

Amyshelley28
Amyshelley28

Thats my uncle and i dont believe any of that. he is a great man an would never do such a thing. everyone needs to get there facts staight. he has been working for the law for over 30yrs. geese this is all some bs

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

If this man (Puroll) was lying about the conversation with smugglers, about hearing offers to whack a reporter and about being involved in bigger gunfights than the GREAT VEKOL VALLEY SHOOTOUT, then why would a supposedly competent law enforcement officer (Babeau) give credence to his shaky story about being shot by smugglers? I sure would like to see the results of the IA investigation...

The whole illegal immigration issue has been warped and distorted to such a point that one can't believe what is said by law enforcement officers and elected officials. They cynically use it like a reconstruction-era "bloody shirt" to whip up hatred and paranoia.

What we are seeing is the convulsive reactions of the American apartheid crowd - the right-wingers who still hate people of color, Jews, gays and anyone else not like them. Until recently, they have had to do so under their breath, and in private but now they have a convenient target - a scapegoat - to focus their irrational rage upon.

If this was the 1960s, Pearce, Arapio, Dever, Kyl, McCain, Brewer and the rest of the zanies currently in charge of the asylum would be resisting integration.

Thank you, Newtimes, for keeping the spotlight on the whackadooodles who have been given (hopefully, on a temporary basis) power to make policy and enforce it in this state.

Don Bolles would have been proud of you.

FormerRepublican
FormerRepublican

BABEU has promised Maricopa County residents a transparency with regard to the investigation into Hendershott.

So far, that fat slob has been thieving from the County on paid leave for over 6 months.

Babeu.....the taxpayers of Maricopa County deserve better than that.

Crisher1
Crisher1

You guys at Newtimes are the real hero of the community. Keep them honest.

Thank You, New Times
Thank You, New Times

And it was only a few short months ago that Sheriff Paul got all butt hurt that anyone would doubt the veracity of his dynamic "I can take 'em all alone" deputy. Louie The Liar sure stuck his foot in his fat mouth at the truck stop luncheon with Paul Rubin.Cartel kids with cash deals; death threats to journalists. Now the door is open for Lousy Louie to go south of the border for that cartel job.A big gun, a small man, and a bullshit story... the Puroll resume'.Soon it will be time to fell another idiot cop... the king of the county... the one, the only... Sheriff Joe.How long will it take for the rest of Arizona's human detritus to be realized for the mendacious menaces they are. Yeah, I'm Talkin to Brewer, Pearce and the rest of the civic center garbage who are the ones who should be deported - back to Hell from whence they came. And the uninformed Phoenix fools who love them will look like what they are - racist assholes, dupes & haters.My sincere thanks to Lemons, Rubin, King and all the other "usual suspects" at New Times for having the professional dedication to follow the filth of public office and maintain a heritage of quality journalism that Walter Cronkite would have wanted them to. Good work, fellers.

XSoldier
XSoldier

I wonder why it took Babeu this long to fire Puroll?

If Babeu had done this back in April 2010, Puroll wouldn't have made an ass of himself, Babeu, PCSO, and Pinal County.

I wonder what will happen with the "investigation" into Hendy, Fox, and Black?

I wonder if Puroll will be put on the Pinal County Brady List?

Where are the feds in all this?!?

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

_______________________________________

"Puroll told the newspaper that representatives of "the Mexican cartel" have approached him four or five times over the years wanting to do business and asking him to look the other way.

Puroll told the newspaper he didn't arrest any of these men, call for backup, or write reports about the encounters, the New Times reported."

_______________________________________

If we can arrest and prosecute an illegal immigrant for conspiring to smuggle himself into the country, should not Puroll be subject to arrest for his crimes?

- Drug trafficking - He conspired to look the other way and provided safe passage.- Bribery - Did business with the traffickers.- Conspiracy - Did business with the Traffickers- Racketeering - Conspired with a criminal syndicate.- Obstructing Evidence - Failed to document crimes that he witnessed.- Supporting Terrorist Organizations - Since 9-11, drug money has fueled terrorism.

Of course that does not even get into the duties of a LE officer.

Has he been protected from criminal prosecution because he went through the IA process first? Of course, what he told Rubin is fair game.

Theoldman
Theoldman

Thanks to the New Times for continued efforts digging for the truth. It certainly is hard work digging and finding the truth when there are so many available places to hid it. Arpaio, Hendershott, Babeu, all have done and continue to do their best to hide the truth. At this point, I don't believe any of them, so I wait and wait and wait for the Dept of Justice and/or the federal grand jury to complete their work and, hopefully, issue some indictments.

Johnny White Man
Johnny White Man

That lying S.O.B. Puroll had just taken Sheriff Baboon to a whole new low. He just made the supposed "investigations" by Baboon look worst than amateurish. Which is why the "investigations" into the Munell reports should take heed, and change its course. For the American people cannot trust Sheriff Baboon.

Coz
Coz

Now if they could only fire Beabu....

Hey Beabu, hows that investigation going on Hendershott ?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

In my opinion Babeu cannot now say that Puroll fabricated the great shootout story, even if Puroll finally admitted it during the 'real' internal investigation.

Babeu should NEVER have pulled DPS from the shootout investigation in the first place and to now admit that the whole thing was a hoax would be political suicide for Babeu. He used the shootout story to his advantage when he needed public support for SB-1070 and it appears Babeu also controlled the investigation to help internal affairs validate use of deadly force, which was apparently the only intent for the internal investigation in the first place.

Had Puroll just been smart enough to keep his mouth shut this would likely still all be muddy water running down stream. Once Puroll made up his stories to Mr. Rubin, he had cooked his own goose and then became politically expendable for Babeu.

Apparently Puroll is going to appeal his termination. Like Lisa Aubuchon, I suppose. Reality has nothing to do with what can be made up between now and then.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Yes, about that transparency.... what the hell is going on with the investigation, I wonder? WHO (in it's entirety) is actually involved in the investigation and what, if anything, is the current progress on the investigation? Is the file sitting in a closet someplace, collecting dust, as the two shurfs of Aringham wait for the public interest to wain, so they can quietly return it without any investigation? Clearly, there seems a motive involved with the amount of time since the file was transferred to PCSO...

Before the Flaccid Fool of MCSO throws Hendy 'under the bus' it needs to be taken to the county shops for a lift kit...

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

A reporter on Fox 10 News at 5 said she went by Puroll's house and he refused to talk to them, "unless you make me a paid consultant"....

Funny, Louie. Very funny. Perhaps MCSO could use someone just like you...

Max Fischer
Max Fischer

Seriously. New Times is the only outfit that DOES any real research and looks into issues. Az Republic uses free interns to retype press releases.

Keep up the good work guys.

James King
James King

On behalf of all New Times staffers, thank you for the compliment, and thank you for reading. Without readers, we'd probably all be lawyers or in jail...or both.

Two years and counting
Two years and counting

Yes, the feds. After all, Louie was the PCSO LE liaison to federal Homeland Security during all of this. Funny, he didn't assign himself. But then again, Louie's supervisor was grilling ribs at home when the April shooting came down. How do you talk with a (any) news reporter for over four hours without your supervisor knowing (before or after).

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Gerry, your comments are interesting, but I don't see probable cause based on what I've read. Please remember, the only evidence indicating any of that might have happened was based on statements by Puroll. It seems not all of what he has said has been deemed as factual and truthful, thus no probable cause. Unless there is other evidence to support his claims (which I'm not aware of) I am not expecting any criminal charges.

Maybe a shot in the side/back is thought to be punishment enough, along with loss of a decent career and potential retirement. Unlike some folks at MCSO and the former MCAO, [Thomas], you and I really do believe probable cause must be present before charges can be let...

It may very well be that Puroll was involved with the cartel. We don't know that to be true. But I have reason to not believe pretty much everything the guy says...

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Obviously, I am not LE and my comments about potential crimes by former deputy Puroll are not rock solid. Maybe Tommy or someone with working experience can speculate on what I have suggested regarding crimes by Puroll.

Two years and counting
Two years and counting

Hey, go easy, the sheriff's been busy. Went back to MA to campaign for Joe Malone running for state house and gave a great talk for cops in South Dakota. And then there was campaigning for little brother running for JP. And that Hendershott case? It's a piece of cake for a 3 year street cop turned sheriff. It's only a major investigation of great significance to a huge county (Maricopa, not Pinal) and its residents. But, wait, it took Babeu over 12 months to investigate his Lt. Kaye Dickson, only to have to declare that he found she did nothing wrong and unsuspended her. Took over a year to decide to fire Sgt. Guillen. When is he going to start looking at conduct in his agency that does matter instead having taken so much of his time "polishing his pearl" before tossing him overboard.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

This is a case of a man wanting to hear himself talk and wanting to get attention. It is just an extension of the blabbermouth syndrome that we have seen recently with Arpaio, Pearce, and Babeu just to name three. Running his mouth was career suicide for Puroll.

I totally understand what Tommy says about Babeu not being able to say that Puroll fabricated the "great shootout" story. So, Babeu is sticking with the story saying that the 'evidence' support Puroll's story.

OK Babeu, one of your deputies was shot in the desert and you assert that it was not self-inflicted. A deputy was shot! What are you doing about finding the person or persons involved in this instance of attempted murder? How many resources are assigned to the investigation? Are other agencies participating?

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Tommy,

I heard an interview this evening with a PCSO investigator that basically said Louie was lying about everything he told Rubin about the cartels and threats. I think you are right; there really never was probable cause, even with his statements to 3rd parties such as Rubin.

In spite of this, I would still think my comments are valid in another context. I find it difficult to believe that a POST-certified officer would say such a thing whether true or not. Everything is at risk for such a blunder as Louie found out.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Gerry, the sheriffs of MCSO and PCSO have combined efforts to find Adrian Cruz, the MCSO escaped child rapist, and those five hundred or so jungle fighters that opened fire on Puroll with quad 50s in the desert last April. That said, I don't think I will hold my breath waiting for any arrest in either case. We know Cruz actually existed at one time, the Vekol Valley shooters, however, seem to have been purely vapor in the sky.

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