More Arizona “crazy” appears not to be so crazy…ending in a conspiracy?
Introduction: On Tuesday of last week, I posted the following article up and onto the web site for the Chicano Veterans Organization. And what I am not posting here is the Part Two of this two-parter. Therefore, this is the “first part.”
However, an update is required and done in order to emphasize another part that has not yet been addressed to date. And therefore, my attention has now turned to the “role” that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has played throughout this political period in time, and where “anti-immigration” has been overshadowed by events among the Republicans themselves and for the totality that is “control.” Consequently, Sheriff Arpaio and his Chief Deputy, along with the then Maricopa County Attorney and his Chief Deputy, participated in a four person meeting in which the Sheriff suggested, and all three agreed, to file a legal action against a sitting judge and done in order to prevent the judge from ruling against the four person cabal. And since the meeting took place one day prior to any judicial ruling, does this fall into the realm of a criminal “conspiracy”? If so, the Department of Justice is doing its investigation, relative to this meeting as well as other “issues” that the public has deemed warranted here in my home state of Arizona. Enjoy—Jaango.
“Arizona is like Mexico”…Andrew Thomas
On Tuesday a disciplinary panel convened by the Arizona State Supreme Court made the following findings on charges against Andrew Thomas, the former Maricopa County Attorney, his chief deputy, Lisa Aubuchon, and staff attorney Rachel Alexander.
To wit, the evidence rendered means that Thomas and Aubuchon will be disbarred and Alexander will be suspended for six months and thereafter will, again, be able to practice law.
As such, of the overall 33 charges, 29 of these charges were rendered with “Clear and convincing evidence.” And here are the 28 allegations upheld and followed by the 5 allegations dismissed.
1. Client Confidentiality: Thomas improperly issued a press release in June 2006 criticizing the legal positions taken by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
2. Using means to burden or embarrass: Prosecutors filed charges against Supervisor Don Stapley to “embarrass, delay, or burden” him.
3. Conflicts of interest: Thomas’ animosity toward Stapley should have precluded prosecutors from seeking his indictment.
4. Making a false statement to the court: Aubuchon lied when she said the County Attorney’s Office filtered activity in the criminal and civil division.
5. Making a false statement to the court: Aubuchon’s December 2008 motion to seeking disqualification of Judge Kenneth Fields was flawed. Thomas approved the motion.
6. Conduct prejudicial to administration of justice: Aubuchon violated the code when she wrote letters to judges seeking to interview them about Field’s appointment in the first Stapley case.
7. Conduct prejudicial to administration of justice: Thomas and Aubuchon engaged in prejudicial conduct by charging Stapley in 2008 knowing that the statute of limitations had run.
8. Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty: Aubuchon failed to disclose to a grand jury that many of the indictments against Stapley were barred by the statute of limitations.
9. Improper public statements about the Stapley case: Thomas made misleading statements when he called Stapley a criminal and claimed a biased judge was allowing him to avoid conviction.
10. Using means to burden or embarrass: Thomas wrote letters to county officers demanding that the board’s outside legal counsel not be paid.
11. Using means to burden or embarrass: Thomas and Aubuchon obtained a subpoena with the substantial purpose of embarrassing, delaying and burdening county employees.
12. Conflicts of interest: Thomas’ civil division advised the board and county management about a construction project for which he later tried to prosecute the Board of Supervisors.
13. Using means to burden or embarrass: Thomas, Aubuchon and Alexander pursued a racketeering lawsuit to embarrass, delay or burden defendents.
14. Filing a frivolous lawsuit: The racketeering lawsuit Thomas, Aubuchon and Alexander filed was frivolous.
15. Competent representation: An expert testified that the racketeering complaint did not meet basic standards because it did not allege an enterprise or a pattern of racketeering activity.
16. Conflicts of interest: In filing the racketeering complaint, prosecutors represented the state. They also represented Sheriff Joe Arpaio and ended up suing a separate client on his behalf.
17. Violation of a court rule: Prosecutors based allegations in the racketeering matter on Bar complaints.
18. Conduct prejudicial to administration of justice: Prosecutors sued judges who were immune from lawsuits.
19. Conflict of interest: Prosecutors brought criminal charges against Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox while they were suing her civilly in a separate matter.
20. Using means to burden or embarrass: Prosecutors pursued claims against Wilcox and Stapley a second time to embarrass or burden the Board.
21. Conflict of interest: Thomas and Aubuchon were conflicted from prosecuting Stapley a second time because they had developed a personal interest through Thomas’ animosity and the racketeering suit.
22. Filing charges knowing there was no probable cause: Prosecutors pursued judge Gary Donahoe knowing the allegations were not supported.
23. Using means to burden or embarrass: Prosecutors filed charges against Donahoe to force him to recuse himself from a December 2010 hearing.
24. Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty: Prosecutors knowingly brought false charges against Donahoe.
25. Violation of criminal law: Thomas and Aubuchon committed perjury.
26. Conflict of interest: Prosecutors were conflicted from bringing charges against Donahoe because of their personal interest against him.
27. Conduct prejudicial to administration of justice: Prosecutors charged Donahoe with crime for the sole purpose of compelling his recusal in a separate matter.
28. Conflict of interest: Thomas and Aubuchon were conflicted from seeking indictments against Donahoe and three other county officials when they were already suing them in the racketeering case.
29. Failure to cooperate with the State Bar and Bar counsel: Prosecutors failed to adequately cooperate with a state Bar investigation and failed to respond to allegations in a timely matter.
In the determination for “While we find there is clear and convincing evidence, we decline to issue either sanctions or consider this claim for aggravation.” To wit, the charge of: Violation of criminal law: Thomas and Aubuchon violated ethical rules by conspiring with each other and the Sheriff’s Office to oppress Donahoe.
Now to the charges brought forth and did not rise to the level of “Not clear and convincing evidence.”
1. Conflict of interest: Thomas has an attorney-client relationship with the Board of Supervisors when he tried to influence their selection of outside counsel in 2006.
2. Improper public statements: Thomas’ June 2006 press release also included potentially prejudicial statements.
3. Engaging in dishonesty. Thomas and Aubuchon failed to tell Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores of a grand jury’s prior decision to end an inquiry into the propriety of county administration spending money to search for listening devices in county offices. Thomas and Aubuchon had handed the case to Flores citing conflict of interest.
As such, the two attorneys specializing in “ethics” from outside of Arizona, have completed their investigation, tendered their report and the convened panel, has announced its decision with respect to all 33 initial allegations. Consequently, it will be up to the State Supreme Court to accept the results or perhaps, it to will or can address all 33 allegations, again. However, the likelihood is great that the Court will render its decision as acceptable, and Thomas and Aubuchon will be disbarred and Alexander will be suspended for a period not to exceed more than six months.
And through all this political “overreach” we must keep in mind that both the County Attorney and Sheriff Arpaio campaigned on both the strategy and tactic of taking no prisoners when it came to anti-immigration. To wit, the U.S. Department of Justice announced via its letter on Tuesday that it will be meeting Sheriff Arpaio in federal district court and where the current litigation will be addressed.