Add another scalp to the lodge wall. Recalled, disgraced former state Senate President Russell Pearce's brother, ex-supervisor's candidate and one-time Justice of the Pearce Lester Pearce, has been formally censured for campaigning on behalf of his sibling during the historic 2011 recall election that drove ol' Russ from power.
It was also alleged that he kinda-sorta did a little campaigning for Russ' sham-wow candidate Olivia Cortes, as Lester was in the car with his niece Shilo Sessions as she went around collecting signatures to put Cortes' name on the ballot.
See, she and others hoped Cortes would siphon votes away from the ultimate victor in the recall, state Senator Jerry Lewis.
See also: -Russell Pearce's Bro Lester Pearce Faces Ethics Charges -Russell Pearce's Bro Lester Pearce, Busted -Russell Pearce's Brother, Judge Lester Pearce, Stumped for Brother at LD 19 Meeting -Russell Pearce's Olivia Cortes Off The Hook in Petition Pros Scandal
Lester is no longer a judge, having stepped down to run in this year's GOP primary for Maricopa County Supervisor against fellow tusker Steve Chucri, who, quite naturally, wiped the floor with Lester's weaselly pock-marked mug.
But Lester was still a JP while he was campaigning for his not-so-little brother, so Arizona's Commission on Judicial Conduct has now fined Lester $1,500, and spanked him for being a bad boy.
This, as part of an agreement wherein the wingnutty ex-jurist waived his right to object.
(Scary to think this sleaze actually had power at one time.)
Essentially, Lester caved, knowing that the evidence was stacked high against him. Lawyers working for the commission had been hitting folks involved with subpoenas in anticipation of a scheduled December 21 hearing, which will no longer take place.
That's too bad, because I was looking forward to a front row seat for the circus. One of the last times I spoke with Lester, he almost took a swing at Phoenix videographer Dennis Gilman, and I was anticipating a re-match.
It's gratifying to know that I had a small part in a major right-wing tool like Lester getting pimp-slapped, specifically by first publishing the minutes of the Legislative District 19 meeting where Pearce stumped for his sibling and by pointing out that this was a no-no for judges, who can only stump for themselves, not for others. Not even family.
Agreed, it's not much of a fine. Lester's loaded, having self-funded his campaign against Chucri. Heck, the ornery ex-JP's probably got $1,500 simoleons in his wallet. For instance, it might have been nice if the commission had barred Pearce from ever running for JP again.
That said, Pearce had lawyered up in order to fight any discipline, so it's something.
It also shows you what happens when people start issuing subpoenas: Scalawags come to heel.
Same thing happened when crusadin' Chandler attorney Tom Ryan, the Irish wolfhound of lawyers, took on the Pearces by dragging Olivia Cortes and her coterie of hamfisted, Tea Party mooks into court back in 2011. Russell Pearce and his political Mephistopheles Constantin Querard ultimately caved, and Cortes withdrew her candidacy, though her name remained on the ballot.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
If Ryan had been able to continue, the entire Cortes charade would have been dissected. But, alas, that did not happen.
And, sadly, when Gila County prosecutor Daisy Flores got a chance to investigate the Cortes affair, after the Arizona Attorney General's Office conflicted the case out to her, she did nada.
"Had [Flores] done her job, issued subpoenas and investigated this," said Ryan when I called him for comment, "then we would have gotten to the bottom of this. Heads would have rolled."
All the more reason to run Ryan for County Attorney one of these days. Maybe in 2014 if Bill Montgomery cuts his term short and runs for governor or Attorney General, as many expect he will.