Maricopa County Craziness

Andrew Thomas' Lawyer, Don Wilson, Complains About Sheriff Arpaio's Weak Memory and Nails Coffin of Thomas' Political Future

Don Wilson, Andrew Thomas' attorney in the former Maricopa County Attorney's disciplinary proceedings, disses Sheriff Joe Arpaio's memory and his client's political future in a new interview.

We found Wilson's Tuesday interview with KJZZ quite comical, in places, (after learning about it from one of our sharp readers, that is).

Thomas' lawyer, in answer to why his client should continue to hold a law license, responds that the former prosecutor couldn't abuse his power because he no longer holds office -- "and I think any reasonable person assumes he never will again."


Wilson seems to acknowledge that even his best efforts during the fall State Bar disciplinary proceedings couldn't make Thomas look good enough to be elected to an HOA board.

But Wilson gets serious when talk turns to Arpaio's performance on the witness stand at the proceedings.

Wilson says:

I don't know if dismayed is the right word, but it's unfortunate that Sheriff Arpaio didn't have a better memory.


If even a portion of former Chief Deputy Hendershott's testimony is to be believed, Sheriff Arpaio knew more, but unfortunately was not able to recall.

Wilson doesn't elaborate on exactly what he thinks Arpaio should have said, but there's no question that Arpaio's testimony was full of all-too-convenient memory lapses.

Interviewer Mark Brodie asks Wilson if he was surprised at Arpaio's testimony, and Wilson answers, "yes."

Considering how long Arpaio's been sheriff and the seriousness of the investigations conducted by his and Thomas' offices, "it would seem to me that he would have a better memory."

Wilson believes that even a suspension, rather than disbarment on allegations of ethical and potential criminal violations, would be unacceptable to Thomas.

"He feels the evidence is that he didn't do anything inappropriate or unethical," Wilson says, adding that Thomas will appeal any decision by the Bar's disciplinary panel that goes against his client.

Wilson and lawyers for the other respondents in the Bar's proceedings, Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander, are scheduled to turn in their closing arguments by mid-January.

A decision by the disciplinary panel is expected by late February. Catch the whole KJZZ interview here.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.