Archive for Politics

Jun
07

Arpaio Announces Deputy’s Move To Obama Investigation For Security Purposes

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the volunteer investigation regarding documents that relate to the residency of President Barack Obama currently includes taxpayer-funded deputy services. The deputy joins Arpaio’s cold case volunteer member Mike Zullo in Hawaii because of security issues as well as the progression of the investigation.

Arpaio recently said it’s just one deputy and that the investigation does have some security issues. He said for six months, no money was spent. However, when it comes to investigation, some things need more resources put into them.

The Sheriff’s office recently said approximately $40,000 has been spent so far on the investigation, which is funded solely on donations.

In the past, Arpaio flaunted the fact that the investigation consisted mainly of volunteers and donations. However, a sworn deputy is now needed.  According to Arpaio, the volunteer posse is in the middle of a criminal investigation but declined to further elaborate.

Arpaio also noted that the costs of Zullo and the deputy’s hotel rooms and airfare are being covered by the Sheriff’s Office. However, the posse is expected to pay back the department for all of it.

The deputy that’s been assigned to the investigation into Obama continues to works with the Sheriff’s department in its threats unit. Arpaio said the deputy will work on other cases while helping with the investigation. However, he won’t be making arrests.

Arpaio said the investigation posse won’t constantly use the deputy because he’s not assigned to it. He’s just currently a liaison and provides advice when warranted, Arpaio said. He said he feels a deputy is needed right now. He refused to talk about other trips the posse has been on without the assistance of a deputy.

250 Surprise Tea Party members request an investigation be launched regarding Obama’s residency.

A news conference was held in March by the sheriff along with Zullo, Surprise Tea Party members and author Jerry Corsi, whose examination originally led the investigation. Zullo laid out the allegation that the president’s birth certificate and selective service card were fakes.

Zullo relied on the White House’s documents that verified the president’s birth in Hawaii for the investigation.

A civil rights lawsuit was recently filed by the U.S. Justice Department that alleged that Arpaio’s department discriminated against persons who spoke out against the sheriff and his policies as well as Latinos.

Arpaio has repeatedly denied that this investigation into Obama is motivated by politics. However, many critics have noted that most folks, including Republicans, have gone past the topic.

Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of State, brought the topic back up recently by asking Hawaii officials to verify the birth certificate so that he could place the president’s name on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The sheriff said it’s not Obama’s birthplace the investigation is focused on. Instead, it’s the possibility that some documents generated to authenticate the birth are duplicitous.

Arpaio said he’s able to spare one deputy and not have problems because the agency has roughly 900 other deputies working for it.

Categories : Police, Politics
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Jan
01

State of Arizona v. Lovejoy

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This not guilty verdict was including among a number of high profile cases entrusted to now disgraced former prosecutor Lisa Aubuchon.  Judge Neil Wake recounts in his recent ruling denying the Defendant’s motion for summary judgement:

Lovejoy’s case went to a bench trial in front of a Justice of the Peace on August 15, 2008. After Aubuchon presented the State’s case, Lovejoy’s defense attorney moved for a directed verdict: Judge, the statute as we’ve been talking about all morning requires the culpable mental state of recklessly. And for the State to prove that, they have to show that Sergeant Lovejoy was aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk, i.e., the dog was in the car, and that if he left him in there, he would die or become injured. . . . They have shown that he left the car “ the dog in the car. No one is disputing that. They haven’t shown . . . that he knew the dog was back there, but disregarded the risk that he might die. (Doc. 93-1 at 56.) In response, Aubuchon argued, We don’t have to show that he knowingly left the dog in the car. . . . *** We are not arguing that he knew he left the dog in the car, because we would have charged it that way. We’re arguing that he’s reckless. And it is his very conduct and the choices he made that shows he substantially disregarded that risk. Everybody knows that in August in Arizona it is hot in a car. And a trained K-9 officer should be on heightened awareness about what will happen if he forgets the dog in the car. (Doc. 93-1 at 57.) At the close of argument, the Court announced without elaboration, “At this time I’m going to deny the directed verdict.” (Doc. 93-1 at 62.) Lovejoy then put on his defense, after which the Court stated: “All of these so-called distractions [presented by the State as evidence of recklessness] . . . don’t equal “ it doesn’t equal to me to be recklessness. State did not meet their “ their burden here and I find [Lovejoy] not guilty.”

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Jan
01

County Attorney Andrew Thomas’ Decision to take Lovejoy to trial

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As recounted in Judge Wake’s recent ruling:

Andrew Thomas, then the Maricopa County Attorney, assigned Leonard Ruiz, third in command at the County Attorney’s Office and chief of the trial division, to supervise Lovejoy’s case. Ruiz was never told why he received the assignment. He could not recall another instance of a person with his seniority at the County Attorney’s Office being asked to assist in prosecuting a misdemeanor animal cruelty offense. Deputy County Attorney Anthony Church, who specializes in animal cruelty cases, received the assignment to handle day-to-day tasks associated with the Lovejoy prosecution. Soon after he received the assignment, Church formed the opinion that the case against Lovejoy was weak: [F]rom all the information I had gathered from the police report, [Lovejoy] cared very much about the animal, and I had a hard time believing that he would consciously recognize that the dog was in the back of the car and leave the dog there intentionally or ‚or, you know, understanding that he would be coming back but knowing the dog was back there.

On March 7, 2008, Church and Ruiz jointly requested an “incident review.” An incident review involves submitting the case to a board of senior attorneys who evaluate whether the case should go forward. Church and Ruiz’s written request summarized Simonson’s findings and added, A defense interview with Detective Rob Simonson took place in early February. According to Detective Simonson there is no evidence, which he can point toward, to show that Lovejoy did not simply forget that the dog was in the car. Detective Simonson told the defense attorney the only evidence that exists to prove the reckless mindset is that Lovejoy put the dog into the car and Lovejoy failed to take the dog out of the car, causing the dog’s death. (Doc. 101-2 at 4.) Church and Ruiz then quoted the animal cruelty statute under which Lovejoy was charged (see p. 5, above) and the definition of “recklessly” (see p. 8, above) and concluded: Recklessness requires that the person actually be “aware” of the risk being created by his conduct. In re William G., 192 Ariz. 208, 963 P. 2d 287 (App. 1997). This case needs to be set for incident review to determine whether we have probable cause to prosecute this case and whether we can ethically prosecute this case. (Id. at 5 (emphasis in original).) On March 11, 2008, another Deputy County Attorney, Jeff Trudgian, submitted a memo to Chief Deputy Philip J. MacDonell regarding the Lovejoy case. The memo begins, “Mr. Thomas requested research on the issue of whether “awareness’ of the risk, as needed for a finding of recklessness, can entail forgetfulness “ specifically, as applied to a K-9 police officer with specialized training regarding animal handling.” (Id. at 8.) Trudgian analyzed various cases and the relevant statutes and concluded, The problem is the element of “conscious disregard” that the results would occur or the circumstance exists. It cannot be argued that a person who truly forgot an animal in a vehicle consciously disregarded a known risk. . . .  . . . [T]he facts appear legally insufficient for conviction. (Id. at 10 (emphasis in original).)

On March 28, 2008, yet another Deputy County Attorney, Linda Van Brakel, submitted a memo titled “Lovejoy analysis” to Jim Beene, whose position is unidentified. The memo quotes Church and Ruiz’s statement of facts (contained in their incident review request) and then analyzes the relevant law as applied to those facts. Similar to Trudgian’s memo, Van Brakel’s states, Lovejoy knew the dog was in the car because he placed him there, but the evidence shows he completely forgot about him. In other words, although Lovejoy was no doubt aware of the risk of leaving a dog in a hot car that long, he did not consciously disregard that risk. He simply forgot. That may be negligent, but it is probably not criminally reckless. (Id. at 27 (emphasis in original).) Van Brakel considered but rejected a recklessness argument based on sleep deprivation: Lovejoy should have realized that he was sleep-deprived and might forget about the dog. However, police officers working graveyard shifts, swing shi[f]ts, off-duty jobs, and getting called out at all hours, are commonly sleep deprived and this might be considered normal for a police officer. In other words, loading the dog in the car under the circumstances probably did not create a substantial risk of harm constituting a gross “flagrant and extreme” deviation from the conduct of a police officer or K9 officer. Leaving him in the car, of course, would create a substantial risk of harm constituting a gross deviation from the conduct of a K9 officer, but we lack the “conscious disregard” of such a risk. (Id.) Van Brakel ultimately concluded, “I do not believe there is a reasonable likelihood that it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Lovejoy acted with criminal recklessness, causing Bandit’s death.” (Id. at 31.) The record before the Court does not reveal whether County Attorney Thomas reviewed any of this material. However, he turned down Church and Ruiz’s incident review request.

In a less than shocking turn of events, Andrew Thomas disregarded all of the advice he was given about prosecuting Officer Lovejoy and turned the case over to his ever-faithful servant, Lisa Aubuchon (who is facing currently facing disciplinary proceedings with her former boss).

Contact a Phoenix Criminal Lawyer today if you are facing criminal charges.

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Jan
01

More excerpts from Judge Wake’s ruling in the Lovejoy – Arpaio case

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Judge wake goes on to recount the factual allegations regarding the Sheriff’s news conference:

While Lovejoy was driving in, Arpaio held a press conference announcing that Lovejoy had been arrested. Lovejoy claims he learned of his supposed arrest when a reporter reached him on his cell phone while still driving to the station. When Lovejoy arrived at the station, Summers and Simonson arrested him (without handcuffs) and moved him through the processing, booking, and initial appearance process. An unspecified Sheriff’s Office employee asked the commissioner presiding at the initial appearance to set bail, but the commissioner refused and released Lovejoy. That same day, the Sheriff’s Office issued a news release‚regarding the arrest. Arpaio testified at his deposition that he reviewed it and approved‚the news release “[t]o be disseminated to the media.” … The news release quotes Arpaio as saying that the decision to book Lovejoy into jail was “difficult” but “Lovejoy must be treated like anyone else in similar circumstances. I have a strict policy on animal abuse and neglect whereby offenders are booked into jail.’” … At his deposition, Arpaio confirmed that he made this statement. The news release further quotes Arpaio as saying, “Our investigation determined that Bandit’s death was not an intentional act on Lovejoy’s part, but it was reckless and for that, Lovejoy must be charged.’” … When asked about this statement at his deposition, Arpaio replied, “That’s what the investigate‚ investigators said, I presume.”  He was then asked, “You knew when you stepped in front of the cameras [at the press conference] to announce that [Lovejoy] was being charged and put into jail, booked into jail, that [he] had not done anything intentional to hurt that poor dog, didn’t you?” Arpaio responded, “Well, I’m not going to get into the law, whether it’s intentional or not.”…

It doesn’t take a high profile case like this for a rush to judgement to damage one’s rights.  If you or a loved one are being investigated for a criminal offense, contact a Scottsdale Criminal Attorney today.

Categories : Criminal Law, Politics
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Jan
01

Maricopa County Sheriff’s motion for summary judgment denied

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District court Judge Neil Wake recited the following undisputed facts:

That night, he had trouble sleeping because he did not feel well. Around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 11, Lovejoy’s lieutenant at the Chandler Police Department awoke Lovejoy with a phone call. The lieutenant reported a possible sighting of a serial rapist that had recently been terrorizing the Chandler community. Lovejoy’s lieutenant asked Lovejoy to report for duty. Lovejoy agreed, but instead of getting out of bed, he fell back asleep because he was extremely tired. About an hour later, Lovejoy’s lieutenant called again. Lovejoy then got out of bed, put on his uniform, put Bandit into his police SUV, and began driving toward the scene. As he drove, he spoke with his lieutenant again by cell phone. In frustration, the lieutenant told Lovejoy to return home. Lovejoy did so and placed Bandit in his backyard kennel, but Lovejoy did not go back to sleep because he was upset with himself for falling asleep after his lieutenant’s first phone call that morning. By this time, Lovejoy had slept only about six-and-a-half hours over the previous two days. Lovejoy volunteered for an extra-duty traffic control shift that morning beginning at 6:00 a.m. He was not required to bring Bandit with him but he brought Bandit anyway because, he says, he wanted to be prepared if the serial rapist was again spotted. Although the record is somewhat hazy, it appears that Lovejoy and Bandit both remained in the SUV for the entire shift, which ended at 9:00 a.m. Lovejoy believes that Bandit had fallen asleep in his kennel by this point because daytime was Bandit’s usual sleep time. While driving home, Lovejoy received various cell phone calls and was still talking on his phone when he pulled into his driveway, exited his vehicle, and walked into his house. Lovejoy did not take Bandit out of the SUV. For the rest of the day, Lovejoy attended to various family obligations, including helping his stepson with a minor car accident, shopping with one of his daughters, and going out to dinner with his wife. He used his personal vehicle for all of these tasks.

At about 10:30 that night, he returned to his police SUV to get it ready for another extra-duty shift, smelled an unusual smell, and discovered Bandit dead in his kennel. Lovejoy was distraught. He soon called fellow Chandler Police Officer Ron Emary to help him report the incident, but he could barely do more than babble over the phone. Emary arrived on the scene soon after, as did Chandler Police Department Commander Joseph Gaylord, who photographed the scene, cleaned up Bandit’s kennel, and took Bandit’s body to an animal hospital for cremation.

As those who followed this story are aware, Officer Lovejoy was later charged by the County Attorney’s Office and found not guilty of animal cruelty.  If you or a loved one are charged with any criminal offense, you should immediately seek legal advice from a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney.

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Oct
03

Lisa Aubuchon officially terminated from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office

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In a September 8, 2010 letter, Chief Deputy Paul Ahler wrote the following:

Your actions contributed to the unseemly spectacle of the largest prosecutorial agency in the State filing a civil lawsuit against judges, public officials and county employees only to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit within a few months after it became painfully obvious to all that it lacked merit. You misused the awesome power of the prosecutors office to bring unsubstantiated criminal charges against a sitting judge solely for the purpose of delaying a hearing. Again, the charges were voluntarilly dismissed a short time later. These two events created such concern among seasoned and experienced prosecutors that Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk felt compelled to speak out forcefully in an opinion letter that was published in the Arizona Republic on December 22, 2009.

***

Her comments, in my view, were directly on point and I believe that your actions were a serious disservice to citizens and this state. Additionally, a number of employees within MCAO commented that the actions taken by you created difficult relations between prosecutors and other judges who were totally uninvolved in the specific events in question. Your actions brought discredit to county service.

Pursuant to Rule 9.03A. Mmicopa County Merit System Rules, this is your NOlice
or the Findings or the Internal Investigation that wus conducted on bchulf of the Maricop<l
Coullty Attorney’s Oflicc and Int ent to Di scipline based on those lindings.
I have carefully reviewed Ihe report authored by Katheri ne E. Baker, along with
th..: supporting documentation which includes your personnel file, interview transcripts, hear ing
transcripts and the materi al wh ich you provided and requested to be considered. I I have taken
into conside ration the filct that YOli are an experienced prosecutor having been employed by the
MeAO since 1996. I have also reviewed transc ripts from grand jury 494 GJ 156, Mr. 130b Barr’s
affidavi ts and the written commentary you provided in response to the release of Grand Jury
l11<.1ter inl s. I have also sought the comments and opinions of the lion. Stt:ven D. Sheldon (rct.).
Although I was not required to consult with <lny independent cxpert. I sought his input to ensure
thm the disc iplinary deci sion J rcached was appropri ate.
Richard M. Romley, Interim Maricopa County Attomey, has delegatcd to me the
authority to determine the di scipline to be imposed. Based on the material I reviewed, as listed
above and provided wi th this lelter. it is my intcnt to lerminme YOli from yo ur position as Deputy
County Atto rne y. I have adopted al! the Findings and Conclusions orMs. Baker’s vcry thorough
invest igation. I have concluded that a si ngle viohltion of Maricopa County Mcrit Rules or
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office policies and procedures under the circumstances described
be low is suffic ient to warnmt term ination. The b~sis for your termination i::; set forth in detail in
the entirety of thl: attached report and spec ili <.~ally at pages 46-126. It is inco rporated herein by
fe fe rence.
Categories : Politics
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Jun
02

Thomas and Arpaio – a history of abuse

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In his notice of claim, the attorney for Judge Donahoe gave an account of the other well documented cases where the two officials abused the power of their offices for political gain:

This is  far  from the first  time Thomas and Arpaio have abused their power and authority  by  retaliating  against political  opponents  or  helping  and  encouraging  their allies  do  so.  In  fact,  they  have  a  long  established  custom,  pattern,  and  practice  of doing this.

A stunning example of  this arrogant abuse of power was shown  in  the manner in which Arpaio and Thomas treated the  transfer to Yavapai County Attorney, Sheila Polk,  of  the  investigation  into  various  County  officials  after  conflict  of  interest charges were made  against Thomas.  Sheriff Arpaio,  particularly,  grew  increasingly unhappy with  Polk’s  handling  of the matters,  specifically  her  rightful  resistance  to issuing  overly  broad  subpoenas  that  she  believed were  nothing more  than  “fishing expeditions.”  Once Polk demonstrated that she was “too independent” for the  likes of Arpaio  and Thomas, Thomas  simply  took  the  case back  to  be  handled  by  his office, despite the conflict of  interest.

Polk  later  characterized  Thomas’  and  Arpaio’s  abuses  of  power  as “totalitarianism,”  and  noted  that:  “Our power,  granted  to  us  by  the  people,  is  not  a personal  tool  to  target political enemies or avenge perceived wrongs.”  MCSO Chief Deputy  Hendershott,  not  surprisingly,  responded  to  Polk’s  comments  by  doing precisely what  she  cautioned against:  he  claimed that she,  too,  was  now part of  the alleged  “conspiracy”  and  should  be  investigated  by  the  FBI  for  hindering  Sheriff Arpaio’s corruption investigations!

Arpaio  and  Thomas  have  a  history  of  working  against  their  political opponents,  including  state  legislators  and  the  judiciary.  Several  years  ago,  Arpaio and Thomas  joined  to  form  an  anti-corruption  task  force,  called  Operation MACE. The  purpose,  ironically,  was  to  root  out  abuses  of the  public  trust.  The  first  target was  the  Maricopa  County  Community  College  System.  They  seized  hundreds  of boxes of  records and alleged that money appeared to be missing.  But nothing further happened with the  investigation.  In fact,  the  first  indictments from Operation MACE had nothing  to  do  with  the  community colleges.  Instead,  they  brought petty charges against  a  former  state  senator  from  Yuma,  Russ  Jones,  based  on  activity  during  a 2006 election.  The same allegations had been made against Jones during the election, and  were  dismissed  by  the  Arizona  Supreme  Court.  Jones  eventually  lost  the election.  And yet, Arpaio and Thomas brought the  same charges, again, alleging that Jones  presented  false  objects  for  filing  and  willfully  concealed  his  activities.  Not surprisingly, a trial court quickly dismissed the charges.

Arizona’s  Attorney  General,  Terry  Goddard,  has  also  been  the  subject  of investigation.  A  host  of  press  releases  were  issued  at  the  beginning  of  the investigation,  “evidence”  was  distributed  to  the  media,  and  allegations  were  made that  the Attorney General’s  office was  stonewalling.  Not  surprisingly,  even  after  4 years, there have been no  indictments or charges.

In another  instance,  in the dead of night,  the Sheriffs “Selective Enforcement Unit” pulled Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin from  their homes,  arresting them on a petty misdemeanor charge of publishing  in  their newspaper,  the Phoenix New  Times,  false grand  jury  subpoenas  that Thomas  and Arpaio  knew were  unlawful.  In  a  stunning retaliatory assault on the First Amendment, Arpaio and Thomas pursued this political prosecution  solely  in  retribution  for  articles  critical  of  them  that  the  paper  had published over the years.  The arrest, done on the pretext that the paper violated some non-applicable  statute,  generated  a  deafening  public  outrage  at  the  abuse  of power and process.  This time,  even Arpaio’s charges were  dropped,  the  Special Prosecutor who  spearheaded the  investigation was  fired,  and  all  involved,  including  the Sheriff, ran for cover, denying any and all  responsibility for ordering the arrests.

More  recently,  Daniel  Pochoda,  the  Arizona  director  of the  American  civil Liberties Union  (ACLU) was  acquitted on a charge of misdemeanor trespassing after he  was  arrested  and  prosecuted  for  his  mere  presence  at  an  immigration-related demonstration at a local furniture store.  Mr.  Pochoda was on the scene to meet with a client.  He  was  returning  to  his  car,  not  having  participated  in  the  demonstration, when four  Sheriffs deputies arrested him.  This  stunning abuse of power took a jury less than half  a day to hear and decide:  not guilty.

A SWAT  Team style  raid on the home of Dr. Sandra Dowling,  the Maricopa County School Superintendent, was  followed  by  indictment on baseless  charges  that she  allegedly  embezzled  or misused  $3.5  million  in  public  funds.  The  24  count felony  indictment was  later  dismissed with prejudice.  Though  she  was  vindicated, Arpaio and Thomas had succeeded in ousting her and closing the Pappas Schools: her reputation ruined, her life’s work demeaned and denigrated.

These instances of  abuse of  power, as horrifying as  they are, pale somewhat in comparison  to  the  latest  round  of baseless  retaliatory  investigations  and  suits,  both civil  and criminal,  that Thomas, Arpaio and  their minions have brought against other elected  officials,  County  management,  and  now  members  of  the  judiciary  – all designed for  no  other purpose  than  to  intimidate and punish  those  that disagree with their viewpoints.  This escalation of evil, this reign of  terror,  is  inexcusable.

If you or a loved one is being wrongfully prosecuted in Phoenix, contact attorney Joshua Davidson today.

Categories : Politics
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Jun
02

The Court Tower Project and Thomas’ misguided investigation

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Judge Donahoe’s attorney recounted the genesis of prosecutor Thomas’ retaliation against Judge Donahoe:

Thomas,  incensed by what he  considered  to  be  a usurpation of his  power,  not to  mention  the  cuts  to  his  budget,  both  real  and  threatened  by  the  BOS,  enlisted Arpaio and the  two  targeted a County project – they urged the BOS  to  scrap plans for the  long-planned  and  saved-for $347 million Downtown Court Tower.  This  project had  been  in  the  planning  stages  for  12  years;  money  had  been  put  aside  for  its construction  over  that  time,  and  the  BOS  refused  to  scrap  the  project.  Thomas  and Arpaio responded by launching a criminal investigation into  the BOS’ approval of  the Court Tower and Thomas  issued an astoundingly  broad grand jury subpoena seeking years worth of information about  the  project  from  the County.  The BOS  hired Tom Irvine  to  represent  its  interests.  He  moved  to  quash  the  subpoena  largely  on  the grounds  that  Thomas  had  conflicts  in  investigating  the  BOS regarding  the  Court Tower after  he  had  given  it  advice  on  the  same  topic.  In  true Alice  in  Wonderland fashion,  Thomas  then  announced  that  Irvine,  too,  was  now  part  of their  criminal investigation.

Judge  Donahoe,  as  Presiding  Criminal  Judge,  heard  the  matter  and  in February  2009  ruled  that Thomas  had  a  conflict  in  his  dealings with  the County  in that  he was  now  criminally  investigating a client  (the County and BOS)  that  he  had previously  given  legal  advice  to  on  the  same  topic.  Judge  Donahoe  disqualified Thomas,  quashed  the  Subpoena Duces Tecum, denied Thomas’ motion  to  disqualify Irvine, and his motion to assign the matter to  an out-of-county  judge. One month  later, Judge Donahoe denied Thomas’ request  that Stapley be held in  criminal  contempt of court  for  disclosing  information  relating  to  a  grand jury by sharing the Judge’s February 2009 ruling (which he  learned of  through his position as Supervisor)  with  his  criminal  defense  attorney  in  the  case  brought  against  him by Thomas.  Judge Donahoe declined  to  hold Stapley  in  contempt,  finding  that his  right to  counsel  in  the  criminal matter  trumped  any  secrecy  that  should  be  accorded  that ruling.  He also granted the BOS’ request to allow the ruling to be made public.

In  a  motion  for  reconsideration,  Thomas  alleged  for  the  first  time  that  a conflict existed  that  required  Judge Donahoe  to  disqualify himself.  He claimed  that the BOS’  lawyers, Tom  Irvine  and Ed Novak,  also  represented  the  Superior Court  in matters  involving  the  Court  Tower  and  that  Judge  Donahoe  should  have  disclosed that conflict and disqualified himself.  Judge Donahoe rightly denied the motion for a number of  reasons:  as  an employee of  the State, he  had no  conflict with the County’s project;  he  did  not  know,  before  the motion  for  reconsideration,  that Mr.  Irvine  and Mr. Novak  had  any  involvement with  the Court Tower;  he  knew  that Mr.  Irvine did not  represent  him  or  his  employer  in  the  Court  Tower matter;  he  had  and  has  no interest  in  or  involvement  with  the  Court  Tower  project  and  played  no  role  in  its design,  construction, or  funding,  nor had  he  ever discussed any aspect of  the project with Mr.  Irvine or Mr. Novak outside  any  court  hearing.  Thomas challenged Judge Donahoe’s  ruling  in  first  the  Court  of Appeals  and  later  the  Supreme Court.  Both declined to review the ruling.

If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, contact Phoenix Criminal Lawyer Joshua S. Davidsontoday for a confidential consultation.

Categories : Politics
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Jun
02

Notice of claim continued

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Judge Donahoe’s attorney continued:

Even  before  the  attack  on  Judge  Donahoe  and  the  judiciary,  County government  was  awash  in  political  intrigue,  retaliatory  lawsuits,  and vindictive criminal  investigations.  But  the  judges  and  the  Superior  Court  had  managed  to escape  the worst of the  fallout  from  the  acrimony  between County management and Thomas  and  Arpaio.  Disputes  over  the  anti-immigration  policies  of  the  County Attorney and  the Sheriff, budgetary constraints imposed by  the BOS on those offices, and fights over control of  litigation all coincided to  create a perfect storm of  antipathy and  contention  between  and  among  these  officials,  which  ultimately  resulted  in  the indictment of Don Stapley, Chairman of  the BOS.  Thomas, aided in his  investigation by Arpaio, brought 118  felony  counts against him for  alleged disclosure violations  in materials he  is  required  to  file  as  an elected official.  The BOS,  citing  irreconcilable conflicts with Thomas,  stripped his office of  the  right to  represent the County  in civil matters  (and  part  of his  budget)  and  set up  a  separate  civil  division  to  handle  those cases.

Categories : Politics
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Jun
02

Judge files notice of claim against sheriff and former county attorney

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An attorney representing Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe has filed a notice of claim against a number of current and former government officials including the sheriff and former prosecutor Andrew Thomas.  Here is an excerpt from the well-drafted letter authored by acclaimed attorney Michael Manning:

The Racketeering suit was an  ineptly  drafted  rant,  the  silly and  sophomoric  sputtering  of  Lisa  Aubuchon, Thomas’  central  sycophant.  Though  inept,  it  dripped  with  disdain  and disappointment  for  a  judiciary  that  dared  to  disagree.  Eight  days  later,  not  fully satisfied with the  sullying effects of  their Racketeering  slanders,  and at  the urging of Arpaio,  Thomas  escalated  their offense  by  filing  a criminal  complaint against  Judge Donahoe,  charging  him with  three  felonies:  hindering  prosecution,  obstructing justice, and bribery of  a public official!

Judge  Donahoe’s  alleged  “crime”:  he  issued  rulings  adverse  to  Arpaio  and Thomas.  The  Racketeering  suit  and  criminal  charges  against  Judge  Donahoe were the  pitiful  product of an  ugly  alliance  between Thomas  and Arpaio  to  exact  revenge for  those  adverse  rulings,  to  cause  Judge  Donahoe  to  remove  himself from  hearing those cases  and  to  strike  fear  into other members of  the judiciary should they dare  to disappoint Thomas and Arpaio by ruling against them.  Their message was clear:  rule against  us  and  we  will  flex  the  muscle  of our  offices  and  press  the  weight  of the criminal  justice  system  against  you  – and  no  process,  politics,  press,  or  rule  of law will  stand  in our way.  Even  seasoned and  cynical  political  observers and  those with some  ideological  alliance with Arpaio  and Thomas were  stunned by  the  third world-like  audacity  of these  elected  officials.  But,  of course,  these  were more  than  just elected officials – they were  law  enforcement officials  acting  in malevolent  concert, launching  a  nakedly  baseless  attack  on  the  judiciary  – and  with  such  transparent maliciousness.

Not  surprisingly,  given  the  sophomoric  lawyering  and  the  baseless  nature  of the  allegations,  Thomas  and  Arpaio were  forced  to  abandon  both  the  Racketeering suit  and  the  criminal  complaint.  But,  the  dismissals  were  not  really  voluntary  and there was no  apology  for  Judge Donahoe.  These dismissals came only after a Tucson judge disqualified Thomas from prosecuting Supervisor Wilcox because of a number of conflicts of interest and  then dismissed the  indictment against her.  In  that  ruling, the judge noted that Thomas acted unethically,  retaliated against those who disagreed with  him,  sought  political  advantage  by  prosecuting  those  who  oppose  him politically,  and  allied  himself with  Sheriff Arpaio,  who  “misused  the  power  of his office”  by  targeting opponents with criminal  investigations.  These damning  findings by  the  judge memorialized what most  people  knew:  that  Thomas  and Arpaio  had mounted  their  destructive  assault  on  Judge  Donahoe  to  retaliate,  intimidate,  and punish.

If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, contact Phoenix Criminal Lawyer Joshua S. Davidson today for a confidential consultation.

Categories : Politics
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