The real conspiracy was on the other side.
Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his lackey, Lisa Aubuchon, while alleging high crimes and conspiracies against county leaders, were conspiring criminally among themselves and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's minions, says a formal complaint filed by the Arizona State Bar.
Even a casual observer of the county craziness we've covered in the last two years can arrive at one stunning fact after reading the complaint we've linked below:
In complete contrast to the allegations they had made, the allegation of conspiracy by Thomas, Aubuchon, and other so-called law officers is fully supported by concrete evidence.
No wonder John Gleason, a lawyer from Colorado hired by the Arizona Supreme Court to investigate complaints about Thomas and Aubuchon, didn't hold back in his claims against the pair. They had criminally conspired against their political foes, been dishonest, reckless and incompetent, he wrote. Gleason suggested in a preliminary report on his findings in December that Thomas and Aubuchon should be disbarred.
You don't have to be a lawyer to understand the charges Gleason has made against Thomas, Aubuchon, and another allegedly corrupt lawyer who worked for Thomas, Rachel Alexander.
Pages 64 and 65, for instance, tells how Aubuchon met with Arpaio's chief deputy, David Hendershott, and several other deputies to concoct a criminal charge against a well-respected Superior Court judge, Gary Donahoe. Details of the meeting come from one of the deputies, Sergeant Brandon Luth, whose statements are fully backed up by documents, the testimony of others, and other hard evidence.
The probable-cause statement filed in court by the Sheriff's Office was essentially the same as Hendershott's judicial-conduct complaint against Donahoe. No one disputes that an investigation into the allegations against Donahoe, which ended up in a criminal complaint, never actually occurred. The fact that Aubuchon and Thomas knew they were charging someone with a serious crime despite a total lack of a criminal investigation makes Gleason's case for him:
Chief Hendershott told them to describe the "benefit" that Judge Donahoe received for his illegal conduct as the Court Tower. In other words, the bribe Judge Donahoe was receiving was a new court building.
At about 5:00 p.m. Sgt. Luth took the documents to Aubuchon. She
read them. She said that "it worked for her."
Aubuchon signed the complaint as Deputy County Attorney.
Aubuchon and Thomas knew that no criminal investigation of the
charges against Judge Donahoe had occurred.
Aubuchon and Thomas knew that there was no factual basis for the
charges against Judge Donahoe.
Aubuchon attempted to have an investigator from MCAO file the
complaint in Superior Court in the late afternoon or early evening of December 8,
No MCAO investigator involved would file the complaint because they
had not been involved in the matter.
When no MCAO investigator would sign the complaint and "walk it
through," Aubuchon turned to the sheriff's office to assist her in filing it.
Sgt. Luth refused to file the complaint against Judge Donahoe because
he did not want to answer questions by the court about the case when it was filed.
The complaint was filed in the morning of December 9, 2009. Detective
Gabriel Almanza signed it under oath.
Detective Sgt. Luth stated that he told Det. Almanza to sign it, but Det.
Almanza had not been involved in drafting the complaint and he had no knowledge
as to the truth or falsity of the complaint.
The only attorneys in MCAO involved in the drafting of the complaint
against Judge Donahoe were Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon.
The possibility of getting to work in a shiny, new courthouse can't possibly be understood as a reasonable person's motive for committing bribery -- and the idea that it was Donahoe's motive is, on its face, ludicrous. However, Aubuchon and Thomas had a clear, demonstrable motive for charging Donahoe:
Thomas and Aubuchon wanted to file the charges against Judge
Donahoe because he had scheduled a hearing for the afternoon of December 9, 2009 regarding a Notice and Motion filed by Thomas Irvine and Edward Novak on behalf of the county. The motion sought an order prohibiting any special deputy county attorneys not approved by MCBOS from appearing before a grand jury.
As any casual observer of the county feud will recall, Thomas was livid over the suggestion that the special prosecutors he wanted to hire to investigate the Board of Supervisors and other county officials for alleged crimes would have to be approved by the Supervisors.
Gleason's complaint goes on to state:
Thomas and Aubuchon conspired with each other and with others to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate Judge Donahoe in the free exercise of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, a right or privilege secured to him by the U.S. Constitution and laws of the U.S., or they did so injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate Judge Donahoe because he had exercised his right to freedom of speech
Thomas and Aubuchon also conspired with each other and with others to
injure oppress, threaten or intimidate Judge Donahoe in the free exercise of his
constitutional right to engage in his profession and do his job as a judge.
The intent of Thomas, Aubuchon and others was to muzzle Judge
Donahoe so that he would not rule on the motion scheduled for hearing on the
afternoon of December 9, 2009.
Plain and simple language. No gobbledegook. Gleason doesn't need to beg the news media to help him explain what's going on, like Thomas had to in the news conference at which he announced the Donahoe charges.
Gleason's complaint makes a much more compelling argument for criminal behavior than anything Thomas, Aubuchon, and Sheriff Arpaio alleged against their political enemies. The State Bar's disciplinary process allows for hearings to be set on the allegations within 150 days of the filing of the formal complaint.