Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
It has been a long and winding road to justice, but today an Arizona Supreme Court disciplinary panel disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and his former deputy Lisa Aubuchon. The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports Thomas disbarred by disciplinary panel - Arizona Capitol Times:
A disciplinary panel disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his former deputy Lisa Aubuchon Tuesday. A third former deputy, Rachel Alexander, was suspended for six months and one day.
None of the sanctioned attorneys were in court when Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O’Neil read the decision of the three-member panel.
The panel followed the recommendations of John Gleason, an independent discipline attorney hired by the State Bar of Arizona.
Gleason had argued during an eight-week hearing and in writing that Thomas and Aubuchon deserved disbarment because they knowingly used their authority to retaliate against political enemies of Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Thomas and Aubuchon accused judges, politicians, county managers and private attorneys of corruption and conspiracy in a series of criminal cases and a civil racketeering suit, or RICO suit. Alexander was sanctioned for her part in litigating the RICO suit.
Gleason argued that for Thomas and Aubuchon to meet their ends they lied in court and to the grand jury, ignored conflicts of interest, revealed confidential information, took public stands that hurt their client, Maricopa County, in litigation, filed criminal charges without probable cause, encouraged perjury and lied to a prosecutor who took over some of their cases.
Alexander, Gleason argued, knowingly filed a frivolous and groundless amended RICO complaint, wasting the time of U.S. District Court in Arizona. The RICO suit alleged that several Maricopa County Superior Court judges conspired with the Board of Supervisors and private attorneys to hinder criminal investigations of County Supervisor Don Stapley in exchange for a new, palatial county courthouse.
Aubuchon filed a criminal complaint alleging bribery and hindering prosecution against retired Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe and she was also the prosecutor for indictments against Stapley and County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Thomas ended up dropping all of the criminal cases and RICO suit.
It appears that the only corrupt politician to have escaped justice (so far) for abuse of the powers of his office and engaging in politically motivated witch hunts against his political enemies is crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio, who may soon face justice in a lawsuit threatened by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Negotiations between the Sheriff's Office and the Justice Department broke off last week, when Arpaio's attorneys refused to consider the federal government's demand for an independent monitor to oversee the sheriff's operations as part of any settlement. Arpaio case: Feds respond to 'put up or shut up' demand. Arpaio's attorneys were scheduled to respond to the Justice Department, though a letter from federal officials made a civil lawsuit seem nearly inevitable.
The taint from Andrew Thomas' disbarment should extend to all those Tea-Publican politicians who defended Thomas' abuse of power in office. The Arizona Democratic Party issued this statement:
After being defended by Arizona GOP leaders, Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon Disbarred
PHOENIX, AZ--Luis Heredia, Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party, released the following statement:
"After nearly a decade of being defended by Republican leaders from across Arizona, the State Bar of Arizona disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney and Arizona GOP Attorney General candidate Andrew Thomas this morning. It is embarrassing that the Thomas corruption scandal was allowed to persist for so many years and it cost taxpayers millions."
"Any politician who defended Joe Arpaio or Andrew Thomas over the last decade should be asked if they stand by those excuses. Every last elected official who stood by Andrew Thomas owes the people of Maricopa County an apology. Unfortunately, the Thomas scandal is just emblematic of the swamp of corruption that has been allowed to fester in the Arizona GOP--whether it's Tom Horne, Paul Babeu, or Joe Arpaio, it remains clear that the Republicans continue to subscribe to the Andrew Thomas School of Law Enforcement."