You'd think Thomas would have realized he'd jumped the shark by likening his situation to those of King, Solzhenitsyn, and Gandhi, a near-deity more revered in India and around the world than even Mother Teresa.

Yet on the Sunday news shows following this performance, there he was again, claiming innocence as fervently as a clichéd movie convict in stripes, calling his case a modern-day "Dreyfus affair."

That reference is to the famous 1890s case of French injustice in which a Jewish French army officer was wrongly convicted of treason (in large part because of anti-Semitism) and imprisoned for five years in solitary confinement on French Guiana's Devil's Island.

Um, the difference is that Candy isn't Jewish, isn't innocent, and hasn't done any time. Yet.

Both he and his former overlord Arpaio surely deserve a stint in prison. I'm not sure whether even perp-walking this pair in handcuffs into federal custody or placing them in stripes and pink underwear, à la Tent City, will evoke shame from them. But it's worth a try.

Actually, it behooves us all — especially those in the U.S. Department of Justice who have been investigating Arpaio and his department on criminal abuse-of-power allegations for more than three years now — to remember that the nefarious activities described in the disciplinary panel's 247-page report on Thomas, Alexander, and Aubuchon were the result of Arpaio's machinations.

Thomas, clearly, was Arpaio's willing tool, and despite attempts by the sheriff's PR machine to let Hendershott and, then, Thomas play fall guy, it is to Arpaio that every strand of the spiderweb leads.

Take the RICO case, which the panel's report calls "unintelligible," "nonsensical," and "devoid of any legal or factual basis."

Arpaio was one of the plaintiffs, along with Thomas. Arpaio and Thomas held a joint press conference to announce the RICO suit when it was filed, and when Thomas ultimately dropped that travesty, Arpaio again was next to Thomas at a press conference.

The sheriff's determination to crucify perceived enemy Don Stapley was the motivation for the attempted prosecution of the county supervisor.

As New Times reporter Ray Stern detailed almost a year ago ("The Feds Have Evidence Arpaio Broke the Law," May 26), Arpaio primarily was concerned with what one MCSO deputy chief said was "getting [Stapley's] butt kicked," to the point that Arpaio ordered what details would go into a search warrant for a Stapley associate.

Part of the Stapley case had been handled by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk. Over the objections of Polk, Arpaio ordered Stapley's 2009 arrest. When Polk confronted Arpaio about it, he exploded, yelling at her that he had probable cause and "no one tells me who I can/cannot arrest."

On the most serious allegations in the disciplinary panel's findings — those concerning the MCSO's falsely charging Judge Donahoe — Hendershott made it crystal clear during his testimony in the disbarment proceedings that it was his boss' idea to charge Donahoe with a crime.

Not only did the panel find that Thomas and Aubuchon had committed perjury in the process of framing Donahoe, it declared that both were guilty of a federal criminal statute that prohibits two or more people from conspiring to deprive someone of their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Thomas and Aubuchon did this by bringing false charges against Donahoe so that he would cancel a court hearing where he was expected to rule against them.

"Were this a criminal case," the panel concluded, "we are confident that the evidence would establish this conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt."

The panel also made clear that Arpaio and Hendershott were part of the conspiracy. And the whole thing, apparently, was Arpaio's idea.

It was Arpaio who formed the Maricopa County Anti-Corruption Effort with Thomas, and it was Arpaio who allowed the unit to become the duo's weapon against supervisors, judges, and anyone else who stood in their way.

Still, Arpaio is the last man standing in this debacle — a sordid endeavor that he engineered from jump.

That's because the feds seem frozen in a perpetual state of inaction when it comes to Arpaio's criminal misdeeds, the scope of which hardly is encapsulated by the panel's findings.

I and others at New Times have bewailed that inaction repeatedly over the years, so far to no avail.

But with this disbarment order, issued by presiding disciplinary Judge William O'Neil, Arpaio's guilt becomes extremely difficult for the feds to ignore.

Less than a week after O'Neil's order, former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, and former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley teamed up on a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, calling for the DOJ to either indict Arpaio or drop the whole matter.

I choose option number one.

As Arpaio, Hendy, Thomas, and Aubuchon have demonstrated ad nauseam, they are beyond shame. Or so they continue to say.

See, we have yet to put them to the ultimate test: getting cuffed by federal marshals and booked — after that, being tried and convicted.

But a trial and a verdict would take awhile. Meanwhile, those thirsty for justice would settle for seeing Arpaio and Thomas perp-walked. Hell, I'd settle for seeing just Joe paraded to jail in cuffs for all the world to see.

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