The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct has dismissed all four complaints filed against local judges by David Hendershott, chief deputy under Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The commission "found no clear and convincing evidence of ethical misconduct" and voted to dismiss the complaints, a June 18 letter from the body states.
As we reported back in December, Hendershott filed the complaints about the same time that Arpaio and then-County Attorney Andrew Thomas launched a civil RICO lawsuit against several politicians, judges, and local lawyers. The RICO suit fell apart for lack of evidence so it's not surprising that Hendershott's complaints went away, too.
The complaints targeted Superior Court judges Gary Donahoe, Barbara Mundell, Kenneth Fields, and Anna Baca in what appeared less like an allegation of wrongdoing and more like a feud.
Thomas and Arpaio have argued for years that the judiciary is too powerful. They wouldn't mind if that power was used to advance their right-wing agendas, naturally. But since the theoretically non-partisan judges don't always conform to the world view of conservatives, Thomas -- who's running for state Attorney General -- would like to see the system for electing judges changed.
Hendershott, who could not be reached on Monday, no doubt believes that the commission's decision is just more evidence of bias.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, we received a statement from Hendershott via the Sheriff's Office. Here's the statement:
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Chief Deputy David Hendershott has not seen the notification nor has he read the completed investigative report. Chief Deputy Hendershott was never interviewed by investigators and he questions what facts they looked into in order to come to this conclusion.