The State Bar of Arizona has rejected five complaints against Maricopa County leaders submitted a few months ago by the Sheriff's Office.
MCSO Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott wrote to the State Bar with complaints against County Manager David Smith, Wade Swanson (director of general litigation office), Richard Stewart (director of special litigation office), and private lawyers Julie Pace and David Selden.
Without going into every painful detail, it should suffice to say that these State Bar complaints figure into the ongoing feud among county officials. As we reported back in August, Hendershott claimed in his letter about Smith that the county manager's conduct "is depriving Sheriff Arpaio and this office of independent, fair, and objective professional judgment of their lawyers."
Hendershott tells New Times today he's disappointed with the State Bar's non-action on his complaints.
"It's obvious that they will not take things seriously," Hendershott says. "The fox is watching the henhouse."
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We called Swanson for a comment: He criticizes the foundation of Hendershott's complaints, naturally, and adds that the Sheriff's Office paid about $27,000 to have lawyers draft the documents. Swanson says he and Stewart had legal defenses prepared by lawyers, which cost the county an additional $5,000 to $10,000.
The Sheriff's Office reportedly is preparing an e-mail about all five complaints and the responses from the State Bar. We'll publish it when we get it.