A Pinal County judge has put the criminal case of Maricopa County Judge Gary Donahoe on hold until the state Supreme Court figures out what should be done with it.
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An article in the Arizona Republic this evening says the stay will be effective until March, when the Arizona Supreme Court considers Donahoe's motions to dismiss his case. Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas charged Donahoe with bribery, obstructing a criminal investigation and hindering prosecution -- all related to similar accusation made in a federal racketeering lawsuit filed by Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The allegations seem to be based on the fact that Donahoe made some rulings Thomas didn't like. The Republic's Michael Kiefer quoted a pissed-off-sounding Donahoe after today's hearing in Florence: "I was a lawyer for 10 years, and I've been a judge for over 20 years, and I've never seen anything like this."
This ruling, with corresponding statements made by Pinal Judge William O'Neil, bodes very poorly for Thomas. According to Kiefer, O'Neil "felt that the motion before the Supreme Court had a likelihood of success..." Well, of course it does! Thomas has charged a judge with bribery, but has no surveillance video of a payoff, no freezer full of cash -- nothing, other than vague theories, to support the allegation. After the likely defeat in the state Supreme Court, maybe Donahoe should sue for defamation.