Andy Thomas Needs a Perp Walk With His Papi, Sheriff Joe Arpaio

If anyone requires a dose of his own medieval medicine, it's disbarred, disgraced former County Attorney Andrew Peyton Thomas.

By that, I mean that the onetime tough-on-crime prosecutor turned purported criminal needs some serious, old-fashioned humiliation, the kind the Harvard Law School grad advocated in his 1994 tome Crime and the Sacking of America.

As my colleague Paul Rubin first told readers in 2004 ("Dangerous Mind"), when Candy Andy was still sportin' a Ron Burgundy-esque mustache and had yet to darken the hallways of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, Thomas advocated some sicko solutions to criminal behavior in his book.

Ed Piskor

One was a "modified stockade program," in which malefactors would be displayed before their neighbors in "large, open-air holding pens" at "marginal cost and general deterrence for the community."

Rubin warned the populace in his pres-cient story that Thomas was "an honest-to-goodness right-wing zealot" who truly believed in such a retrogressive concept as public shaming.

Eight years later, following a two-year investigation and a judgment by a disciplinary panel of the Arizona Supreme Court, Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon, his erstwhile hatchet woman and deputy county attorney, have been found guilty of a host of improprieties, including dishonesty, perjury, bringing charges without evidence, violating others' rights under the U.S. Constitution, and misleading grand juries.

As a result, Thomas and Aubuchon each was disbarred for at least five years.

Another former Thomas flunky, right-wing blogger and former Deputy County Attorney Rachel Alexander, earned a six-month suspension of her law license for carrying Thomas' water on a ridiculous RICO lawsuit — one in which Thomas and his former fellow partner in crime, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, accused county judges, supervisors, and civil servants of running a criminal enterprise.

Ironically, the real criminal enterprise was being operated by the Arpaio-Thomas syndicate, with Aubuchon, former Chief Deputy David Hendershott, Alexander, and others involved.

The hierarchy in that mafia went something like this: Arpaio played godfather, Thomas was his consigliere, and Hendy, Aubuchon, and Alexander were enforcers and (in Alexander's case) foot soldier.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

First, I need to explain why I think it would do wonders for Thomas, Arpaio, and their willing servants to spend serious time in one of those Colonial-era pillories — with signs around their necks and the general public pelting them with rotten vegetables — before getting incarcerated for the maximum number of years permitted.

A precious few say Candy has been punished enough, given that he's lost his license and ability to exploit his former title as top prosecutor to make bank in private practice.

But, the thing is, Candy and his co-conspirators need some tough love, not just for the sake of justice, but because they seem to lack the ability to feel the basic human emotions of remorse, regret, guilt, and shame.

Candy's absence of shame was on display during his recent press conference on the plaza next to the downtown Phoenix's Orpheum Theatre, a stone's throw from where his former jefe, Arpaio, keeps pricey executive offices on the 19th floor of the Wells Fargo building.

Though Arpaio sent his top flack, Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre, to observe the scene, the sheriff did not make the elevator trip down to defend his tainted partner in crime, the man with whom he campaigned for re-election in 2008, the man he stood beside at so many press conferences to announce the ill deeds for which Thomas now has been disbarred.

Indeed, as he and, later, Aubuchon stood before reporters, they were alone save for the unsavory company of a ragtag gaggle of Mexican-hating nativists (to whom Thomas still is a hero).

Thomas was defiant, asserting for the umpteenth time that he was the victim of a "witch hunt," a martyr slain on the battlefield where he fought the corruption he imagined in so many.

According to him, he did nothing wrong. All his actions — from hitting county Supervisor Don Stapley with bogus charges past the one-year statute of limitations to bringing that laughable RICO suit (one he ultimately had to dismiss) to falsely charging Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe with bribery and obstruction of justice so Donahoe would drop a hearing he was holding the same day — were justified within the confines of his narrow noggin.

Moreover, Thomas envisioned himself as one in a long line of great historical figures who put conscience before obedience to higher authority and suffered as a result.

"Other men far greater than I," he intoned, "have gone to jail in defense of principles they believed in and so they would not kowtow to a corrupt ruler. People like Gandhi, people like Dr. [Martin Luther] King, people like [late Russian dissident and author] Alexander Solzhenitsyn, people like [English reformation martyr] Thomas More, people who stood for something . . . and I'm going to stand firm."

At Thomas' mention of the "Father of the [Indian] Nation," legendary for fasting half-naked and praying for peace, a woman in the crowd screeched, "Gandhi!?"

As I stood a couple of feet from Thomas, I thought: Thomas thinks he's Candy Gandhi. The next thing we'll be asked to believe is that Arpaio is Joe Mandela.

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