Special Prosecutors in Stapley Case Hold Press Conference; Have No Plans to Meet With Stapley
Special Prosecutors Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing
Between dropping names like Barry Goldwater and Fred Thompson, two high-priced Washington, D.C. special prosecutors hired by Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas to investigate Don Stapely didn't offer much more today than saying that they won't say much more.
The notable exception to the otherwise hollow press conference came as Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing said they had no intentions of meeting with Supervisor Stapley himself.
"Mr. Stapley has a lawyer; he's represented by counsel. We won't be meeting with Mr. Stapley. We may talk to his lawyer, but we have no plans to do either of those things right now."
The pair gave no real answer about why they took the case, no groundbreaking information. They told reporters they would be "disappearing," not speaking with the media again until they conclude their investigation (which they say is typical of special prosecutors).
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"People are innocent until and unless they are convicted by a jury of a crime," DiGenova said, while tugging at one of his seemingly strategically worn cowboy boots. "Nobody should view any part of this process as anything other than the routine function of government to investigate matters which are of public knowledge."
However, when asked about the manner in which Stapley was arrested, the former federal prosecutors decided to give reporters a history lesson in perp walks and how people get arrested without actually getting charged:
"Rudy Giuiliani used to arrest people in New York all the time. Whether or not people agree with that or not, it's part of history and part the system," DiGenova commented.
However, Toensing was more than quick to point out that it wasn't how her office would go about it.
Asked if he thought Sheriff Joe Arpaio's manner was acceptable, then, DiGenova added: "Is it acceptable? Well, it's certainly legal."
Well, that's comforting.
The lawyers wanted to assure the public that they would work independent of the County Attorney's Office, and said they won't even use office space at 301 East Jefferson Street.
"The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is gone from this case. [It] will have absolutely nothing to do with any decisions that are made, any subpoenas that are issued, any witnesses that are called; they are out of it, and that is their desire," DiGenova said.
However, the pair acknowledged that they had met with both Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon, a prosecutor who works for Thomas and handled the initial case against Stapley dismissed last month.
DiGenova said meeting with Aubuchon presented no conflict of interest, but rather allows him to see what's been done in the past in deciding how to move forward.
Considering how Aubuchon handled the last case against Stapley, perhaps ignoring the past is the best way to move forward.
Additionally, the prosecutors said the Sheriff's Office will be handling all the investigatory work in the case. They met with Sheriff Joe immediately after the press conference.
That's even less comforting.
Questioned about whether there was anything particularly intriguing about this case (besides, of course, the taxpayer money they'll be getting) that caused a couple of bombastic Beltway barristers to head for the desert, DiGenova joked (a little pompously): "No, we're from Washington D.C."
Well, welcome to Maricopa County. Good thing you brought your boots, 'cause you'll be treading through a lot of BS.
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