Pinal County attorney disputes claim his office is soft

Information from TriValley Central

Pinal County Attorney James Walsh has responded to last week’s allegations by Sheriff Paul Babeu and several deputies who maligned Walsh for what they view as a weak record in prosecuting violent felons.

Babeu sent Walsh a letter detailing 18 cases where he was upset with the results.

Walsh countered that many of the statements made in the letter were false and rebutted the information about several of the cases.

Email correspondence from January 2011 shows Babeu agreed to some charges brought by Walsh and thanked Walsh for his work on the case.

In relation to many cases, Walsh has said one of the responsibilities of the prosecutors is to make sure there is a reasonable likelihood of prosecution on charges.

Walsh said nine of the 18 cases detailed in Babeu’s letter occurred during the sheriff’s first two years in office, when Walsh and Babeu met monthly to discuss cases. He said Babeu never mentioned any problems he had with those nine cases at the meetings.

Walsh said the meetings stopped when he refused to pro-vide outside counsel for Babeu for hearings on immigration law SB1070.

“I told Walsh I would not meet with him for a monthly breakfast again, since he was unwilling to do his job and was always fighting me on every case and every issue,” Babeu wrote in an email to the Maricopa Monitor.

Babeu said Walsh has blocked him from getting another attorney who would “fairly and honestly” represent him and said he’s tried to have Walsh fired as his attorney several times when Walsh has “failed to best represent the interest of my elected office.”

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