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PHOENIX - A Mexican immigrant who had a romantic relationship with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu (BAB'-yoo) has filed a $1 million notice of claim against the sheriff and the county.

Sheriff's officials say the precursor to a lawsuit was received by their office Monday, but they declined further comment.

Last month, Babeu announced that he's gay and once had a relationship with Jose Orozco while the immigrant was a campaign volunteer.

Orozco has accused Babeu of threatening to deport him if he revealed their relationship. Babeu has denied any wrongdoing and has asked for an independent investigation into the matter.

The Arizona Republic says Orozco's claim creates new complexities for Babeu, who's completing his first term as sheriff and is running for a congressional seat in northwest Arizona.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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