Maricopa County Craziness

Mark Goldman, Lawyer Friend of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas Who "Researched" Don Stapley, Seeks Votes in State Bar Election

Mark Goldman, the wealthy lawyer buddy of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and disgraced former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, is seeking votes in a State Bar of Arizona election.

He's one of eight candidates vying for the Maricopa County District position on the State Bar's Board of Governors, which oversees Bar operations.

The limo-riding political groupie was -- along with his wife -- Andrew Thomas' No. 1 campaign contributor in the 2004 election, ponying up $10, 810. In return, Thomas gave him a job as a pro bono special deputy county attorney and, says an October 13 Arizona Republic story about Goldman, "gave him an office with a window just outside the agency's blue-carpeted executive suite."

Goldman played a key role in the failed prosecution of County Supervisor Don Stapley, investigating -- he says "researching" -- the financial disclosure records that would become the core of a 118-count felony-and-misdemeanor indictment. Witnesses recalled Goldman handing out printouts he'd made of Stapley's records in early 2007 during a meeting of Arpaio and Thomas' discredited anti-corruption team. The timing would prove crucial in the disciplinary hearings for Thomas and his underlings: The indictment came more than a year after the initial investigation, and was beyond the statute of limitations. Yet Thomas, knowing that, plunged ahead with the prosecution anyway.

Goldman told New Times in December of 2010 that he had "no recollection" of handing out Stapley material in 2007 -- but changed that story on the witness stand during Thomas' disciplinary trial.

Goldman, a Fountain Hills resident like Arpaio, shows up in the investigative report of real corruption by Arpaio's command staff, who used county equipment like their own personal toy box. Goldman, at the apparent request of Arpaio, was once flown in a county chopper to a shooting range for an afternoon guy-fest.

Now Goldman's promoting himself in his State Bar candidate bio as "a lawyer with whom you would like to hang out."

That's sure true for the current county attorney, Bill Montgomery, who hasn't been shy about sniffing around Goldman's wallet region.

"Mark has an impeccable record of honesty..." Goldman writes.

Well, yeah, when his memory is working. And, really, is that photo he ran with his bio an example of honesty?

That's either a 30-year-old picture or Goldman dyed his goatee and bought a Paul Stanley wig.

Arizona lawyers will vote on the candidates in an online election tomorrow.

UPDATE May 29: Goldman loses. David Derickson wins.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.