The same people responsible for tens of millions in claims being filed against Maricopa County are now drooling after their own pot of gold.
Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and David Hendershott, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's former right-hand man have filed a notice of claim along with Thomas' former lackey, Lisa Aubuchon, for a combined total of $60 million.
Aubuchon had already filed a $10 million claim; she's revised that to $22.5 million. Andrew Thomas, who quit the job voters gave him and failed in his bid to become state Attorney General, has the gall to seek $23.5 million from taxpayers. And Hendershott, the infamous Chief Deputy now under investigation following a co-worker's allegations of corruption and abuse of power, wants $14 million.
All this is on top of about $56 million in claims and lawsuits filed by the people who feel they were wronged by the actions of Thomas, Aubuchon, Hendershott and Arpaio.
We're skeptical that County Supervisors, staff members and judges deserve multi-million-dollar payoffs for their troubles. True, it makes sense that they shouldn't be stuck with massive legal fees because of the weak, unproven and largely discredited conspiracy theories leveled against them by Thomas and Hendershott.
But with the addition of such huge claims by the very people who helped make this mess, the situation looks more like a total farce. Or worse -- arguably, it's an attack on taxpayers by our elected officials and those who worked for them, a bold attempt to raid the treasury.
We've published the claim below and believe you'll find it's overflowing with the same delusional arguments that Thomas and Hendershott tried unsuccessfully to run past several judges.
Not surprisingly, amidst all the BS in this claim, at least one bald-faced lie is evident:
The claim states:
In December of 2008, the Maricopa Board of Supervisors voted to "fire" claimant Thomas and to hire other lawyers as their counsel. They later voted to "fire" Thomas from handling county litigation. ... Both votes were illegal acts, as stated in the Arizona Court of Appeals in Romley Vs. Daughton, handed down in November 2010.
As you can read for yourself, the November ruling from the appeals court doesn't state that. It does, however, state:
Accordingly, we agree with the trial court that the Board acted lawfully on December 5, 2008, in retaining outside counsel for this category of advice and representation.
Media reports noted at the time that the Court of Appeals ruling does require the Board of Supervisors to negotiate a return to the typical practice of using the elected county attorney for civil litigation.
We called Thomas and Hendershott's Montana lawyer, (yeah, that's right, Montana), Edward Moriarity and asked him to point out where in the ruling the appellate court judges "stated" that anything the Board of Supervisors did was illegal.
Moriarity grew flustered, poor guy, and asked us what gave us the right to call and badger him over the question.
$60 million, that's what.