As expected, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors told County Attorney Andrew Thomas that he can stuff that request for a special meeting to talk about special prosecutors.
Thomas "misinterpreted" today's ruling by Pima County Judge John Leonardo's ruling and is therefore applying it inappropriately, states Wade Swanson, the county's general litigation services director, in a letter sent to Thomas this afternoon.
No special meeting will take place on the matter, Swanson writes.
"However, your office is free to pass matters along to the Arizona Attorney General, as is contemplated by statute, or to another county attorney in our state. We trust that any of these elected officials would be truly independent prosecutors," he says.
Naturally, Swanson doesn't pass up the opportunity to take a couple of swats at Thomas:
Your continued insistence that the Board has any kind of obligation to appoint a 'special prosecutor' is intentionally misleading, because no support for such an appoint exists under Arizona law or statute. Instead, all of Mr. Thomas' nominations have been for special deputy county attorneys. [Emphasis by Swanson]. These attorneys are selected by Mr. Thomas personally, and their services are paid by Mr. Thomas' office. As deputy county Lisa Aubuchon has previously asserted, these attorneys would be at all times "the responsibility" of Mr. Thomas.
This is hardly the kind of prosecutorial independence that Judge Leonardo's order requires, justice demands and the public deserves.
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We'll go out on a limb here and guess that Thomas will make a direct appeal to Special Master McGregor, claiming that Leonardo's ruling gives further clarification to her January decision about the special prosecutors. It probably won't work, but we're not sure if he has any other options for immediate action at this point.
Without any more cards to play, for now, Thomas is forced to wait for a decision on the appeal of Leonardo's ruling, wait for a ruling on the lawsuit he filed to force the appointment of the special prosecutors, wait for the appeal of the first Stapley case, wait for the feds to do something on his willowy racketeering lawsuit, etc., etc.