Lester Pearce Submits Public Records Request About Ethics Complaint Against Him
See also: Russell & Lester Pearce's Hillbilly-Fest: David Schweikert Not Attending, Though Lester Thinks Otherwise (w/Updates) See also: Russell Pearce's Bro Lester Pearce, Busted See also: Russell Pearce's Cortes Scandal: Tom Ryan Challenges the Media, Lester Pearce Flips Out
So just what was former Justice of the Peace and Republican supervisor candidate Lester Pearce up to sneaking around the County Administration Building today, as was Tweeted by CBS 5 journalist Gilbert Zermeno?
Well, as Zermeno noted in the Tweet, the ex-JP and elder brother of recalled, disgraced former state Senate President Russell Pearce was there demanding info on the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct's investigation into his alleged violations of the judicial cannon.
But as Paul Harvey used to say, here's the rest of the story...
I contacted Maricopa County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick to ask if she had seen Lester slithering through the hallways, and indeed she had.
In fact, Lester sandbagged the poor woman so as to give her a public records request regarding a protective order the CJC has issued in the probe.
"He asked when I could comply with his public records request," Gerchick recalled the ex-judge saying after giving her his letter.
"I informed him that public records law requires that I must comply with such requests in a timely manner," she said, sounding a bit miffed.
See, Gerchick's read the law, so she knows stuff like that. But then, Gerchick is actually a lawyer, unlike Lester, who is as smart as a sack of rusty flatirons, despite having some sort of undergrad degree from BYU.
As the CJC has this protective order in place and as Lester wants to know all about it, I'm guessing Gerchick will have to let the county attorney's office decide what Lester will or won't get. (Gerchick couldn't go into detail and so was a bit obscure on this point.)
"I literally felt ambushed," Gerchick stated of Lester, who had been allowed into a secure area where her office is. "Everyone else has to wait in the lobby."
Creepy, eh? Even more so considering that Lester was slinking about offices he wants to claim one day. Not that he stands a chance of besting Republican Steve Chucri, who is heavily favored to win in Supervisor District 2.
Still, is it proper for Lester to be pressuring a county worker who -- at least hypothetically -- could be a subordinate one day?
Um, I think you know the answer. Thing is, an aversion to ethics is what's gotten Lester into trouble in the first place. Last year, I caught Lester red-handed, campaigning for his brother Russell in violation of those aforementioned judicial canons.
At the time, I even posted the minutes from a 2011 Legislative District 19 meeting where Lester stumped for his brother's re-election. This, while Lester was still a JP.
Nine days later, the LD 19 board decided to "correct" the minutes to read that, "Lester Pearce spoke about the Constitution and the role of judges."
I didn't find out about this Orwell-meets-Green Acres move until Channel 12 reporter Brahm Resnik recently revealed the tidbit, so I called up Wayne Gardner, who was chair of LD 19 in 2011, before redistricting morphed the district into LD 25.
Gardner explained that he was not in favor of the changes in the minutes, but he was in the minority on that vote. I asked him why he voted nay.
"Typically the memory that's closest to the event is more accurate," he explained, adding, "The proposed changes weren't exactly what I recalled."
Lester's also admitted to being in the car as his daughter went door-to-door trying to score signatures for sham recall candidate Olivia Cortes, and there are tales a-plenty out there about Lester intimidating neighbors and attempting to get them to remove the signs of Russell's challenger, now state Senator Jerry Lewis, from their yards.
Lester resigned as JP of the North Mesa Justice Court earlier this year, in order to run for county supervisor.
So can the CJC punish an ex-Justice of the Peace?
I put that question to Arizona Supreme Court spokeswoman Jennifer Liewer.
"The Supreme Court has the authority to censure a retired judge for misconduct that occurred during his time as a judicial officer," Liewer explained via e-mail. "The Court has also, on at least one occasion, exercised authority to bar a judge who resigned prior to the institution of formal charges from serving as a judicial officer in this state in the future."
No wonder Lester's so worried that he's submitting public records requests to the county.
Sure, he's going to lose his bid for supervisor. But no doubt he'd like to avoid censure or a bar to returning to the bench in the future.
Meanwhile, a group calling itself the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance has been running radio ads on conservative talk news station KFYI 550 AM to remind folks that Pearce is being investigated.
A YouTube video using the audio from the ads is above, and was first posted by the Politico Mafioso blog.
Lester is a walking argument against electing Justices of the Pearce and not requiring these judges to have a law degree.
Just imagine the prospect of having a case adjudicated before Lester Pearce.
Not as scary as having this scalawag as one of our supervisors, though.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.