Pinal Sheriff's Deputy Louie Puroll UPDATE: Board Said To Uphold His Firing

See also: One-on-One Time With a Pinal County Deputy -- Whose Claim He Was Shot by a Drug Smuggler Is Full of Holes -- Produces Startling Results

See also:  Pinalcchio: Renowned Forensics Experts Say a Pinal County Deputy's High-Profile Tale About Getting Shot After Encountering Drug Smugglers Doesn't Add Up

Louie Puroll, the fired Pinal County sheriff's deputy who famously reported being shot in April 2010 by a band of drug-toting illegal aliens in the remote Vekol Valley between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, has lost a bid to get his job back, a sheriff's spokesperson tells us.

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Deputy Louie Puroll wanted his job back, but no such luck.
Sheriff Paul Babeu fired Puroll in late 2010 after the 15-year veteran of the central Arizona agency lied to internal affairs investigators about the content of a startling interview he did with us inside an Interstate 10 truck-stop restaurant some weeks after the controversial desert shooting incident, an alleged clash which the deputy sustained a superficial gunshot to his lower back.

The spokesperson, Tim Gaffney, tells us that he can only confirm that Pinal County's Merit Commission yesterday afternoon upheld Puroll's firing on seven of the nine counts that the agency brought against the deputy. The vote came after an oft-delayed hearing that spanned a period of several weeks.

We went down to the hearing room in Florence (the seat of Pinal County) in June for the opening of Puroll's, but was shut out with other media after the ex-deputy exercised his right to keep the sessions closed to the public.

That surprised us, as we had thought Puroll was chomping at the bit to explain himself to the world.

Whatever.

Would have loved to have sat in and reported on it, but at least it was nice to get out of Phoenix for a bit.

Puroll's attorney, Casa Grande's Denis Fitzgibbons, seemingly a good guy (no matter what he said about us on behalf of his client), claimed in pre-hearing papers about the truck-stop interview that caused the deputy so much grief:

"Deputy Puroll did not consider this an official interview; rather, it was an opportunity for him to come face-to-face with one of his biggest critics ... when they were not talking about official matters, Deputy Puroll spoke to [us] in a joking and theatrical manner. Because this portion was merely an animated conversation between two great storytellers, Deputy Puroll did not violate policy."

We appreciated the compliment about the storytelling part (we can vouch that Louie Puroll does tell a hell of yarn--really), but the interview was as "official" as any other. We took extensive notes, and openly tape-recorded the thing.

We hope to speak with Fitzgibbons later in the day to hear what he has to say about the board's ruling. If we get ahold of him, we'll blog about it.

Gaffney tells us that he's precluded from getting into the specifics of the vote until the official findings of fact are issued, probably sometime next month.

Quick historical bit:

The Puroll shooting occurred one week to the day after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, the deeply divisive anti-illegal immigrant bill.

Sheriff Babeu--then a rising star on the national political scene--tried at first to use the incident as a graphic example of the federal government's continued failures to "control" the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

The shooting brought the telegenic sheriff a lot of publicity, as did the controversy over Puroll first sparked by the publication of "Pinalcchio" and exacerbated by the deputy's over-the-top comments in the follow-up piece.



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15 comments
vpn account
vpn account

This portion was merely an animated conversation between two great storytellers !

Masked Magician
Masked Magician

Having sex with a 17 year old is a crime in Massachusetts and interestingly the Bald Bunion wasn't charged... They do have stiff penalties for something like that up there. I read that a man who raped a woman got life without parole and was sent to Walpole State Prison (think 4th Avenue jails, 10 times worse)

Madworld
Madworld

It's too bad Babeu can't be held to the same standards of integrity as his deputies...what a hypocrit.

Noclowninoffice
Noclowninoffice

Babeu ? Nobody is surprised by this looser giving taxpayers money/ checks for $ 5,000 to everyone, every club, every school, avery foundation to get relected. He has no chance even when he gives our money. check this as well http://www.santanvalley.com/news/news-stories/opinions/item/7693-sheriff-paul-babeu-fallaciously-attacked-me?tmpl=component&print=1 by: Roberto Reveles At the last Board of Supervisors meeting Sheriff Paul Babeu and his admirer, dairy farmer Scott Blevins, rather than addressing the substance of my criticisms of the Sheriff, fallaciously attacked me for serving as president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. For the record, I’m proud to serve with the ACLU, just like I’m proud of my life-long association with numerous community organizations promoting quality of life for all Arizonans. I’m particularly proud of defending constitutional civil liberties of persons and groups regardless of their unpopularity.Indeed, I support the civil liberty of Paul Babeu, to solicit male sex through the internet and to maintain sexual relationships with whomever he wishes. However, individual civil liberty is not a license for Sheriff Babeu to bring disrepute to Pinal County by using his law enforcement position to threaten his Mexican lover with deportation. Abuse of official authority is not a lawful exercise of civil liberties.My remarks at these Board meetings are my personal views critical of Sheriff Babeu’s mismanagement, financial flim-flams, hoarding of government materials, fear-mongering, cover-ups of wrongdoing and politicization of law enforcement.And I want to stress to the disgraced Sheriff, and his admirers, that so long as he abuses the public office he holds, I will criticize his actions and hypocrisy. It is not my criticisms that tear down respect for law enforcement, it is Sheriff Babeu’s actions that are solely responsible for discrediting the profession.Let me cite another illustration of Babeu’s unquenchable and dangerous lust for power. At the last so-called debate among Sheriff candidates, he shouted, to an audience comprised largely of PCSO employees, that he does not care about supporting funding for Pinal County’s public education, health, library services and county courthouse restoration.Instead, he arrogantly proclaimed his intention to secure whatever PCSO funding he demands, by working for election of compliant Team Babeu candidates so he would not have to “fight” the board of supervisors and other county officials.He could not have made his power-hungry goal any clearer. He intends to control all county government! Pinal’s taxpayers have no greater challenge than to unmask and defeat county candidates aligned with Team Babeu’s political operations that to this day remain under multiple investigations.Unmask Team Babeu candidates at candidate events!Vote for a Pinal County government free of Babeu’s corrosive control!

Coz
Coz

Male voters I'm sure.

Church Lady
Church Lady

On a lighter note, Babeu is promising to give voters a pair of his underwear if they vote for him. 

LTC444
LTC444

This is but the tip of the mountain of problems in the Pinal County SO.  What was once a highly professional Law Enforcement organization has through Paul Babeu's lack of leadership and integrity deteriorated into the worst caricature of the old time Southern departments found in the 60s and early 70s.  What is needed is for a professional like Jack McClaren to assume the Sheriffs Office and remove the band of incompetent hacks who are now running the Department.

Jglenn
Jglenn

... and lets not forget the very convienient murder & attempted murder that happened near tabletop right after the puroll shooting ... damn i hope im wrong!

Ted
Ted

"Sheriff Babeu -- then a rising star on the national political scene ..." This is arguably a little anachronistic.  Babeu's emergence nationally had begun in earnest less than two weeks earlier, in connection with McCain's re-election campaign (which had itself become bound up with the debate over 1070).  His first appearance on Fox News (as a McCain surrogate and supporter of 1070) was about a week before the shooting, and the "Complete the Danged Fence" ad was released exactly a week after it.  It's maybe better to say that the Puroll incident helped facilitate his rise nationally.

Jglenn
Jglenn

one of the real unsettling twists in this case is what was up w/ louie being at tabletop that day anyway, his base i understand was oracle. Did he ever advise his dispatch/supervisor that he was going there?  If not, might ole lou have been part of, or a sole operator ripcrew?  I remember years ago a bisbee borderpatrol agent would rip off smugglers & his wifes bro in scottsdale would sell the coke, so its not an impossible scenario, & then there are the unsolved homicides of aliens near redrock & more recently eloy ... hhmmm ... 

Nicholsdaves
Nicholsdaves

You should say: "No Pedifile Clown in Office". Having Sexual relations with a Seventeen year old Boy is a Crime in Arizona. No wonder Baboon moved out west.

TellTheTruth
TellTheTruth

 Can someone call for a plumber for Babeu's residence? He has been doing some repiping again and seems to have lost track of which pipe goes where.

TellTheTruth
TellTheTruth

 Louie was on federally funded overtime that day working "Operation Stonegarden." The truck he drove had been provided to him by the feds. His supervisor, Brian Messing, was home, drinking and grilling ribs in Oracle when the shooting occurred. The federal O/T is why he easily spent a lot of the day at the Iron Skillet telling tales to the girls before managing to make it out to his favorite hunting ground...alone. Folks talk about his free ranging nature. Funny, in that Babeu had Puroll as his liaison between PCSO and Homeland Security. Babeu, Puroll, DHS.  Now that's a Triple Crown winning combination.

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