Maricopa County Craziness

Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander: The Disbarment Hearings

The hearings that may result in the disbarment of former Maricopa County Andrew Thomas begin this morning with opening statements from each side.

Thomas and two of his ex-henchwomen, former deputy county attorneys Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander, are in for the fight of their professional lives as an investigator with the state Supreme Court presents evidence of the trio's alleged ethical violations.

The large, wood-paneled courtroom on the fourth floor of the state court building, 1501 West Washington Street, is starting to fill up with lawyers, interested parties (there's the Wild-West-moustached Earl Wilcox and his wife, County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, in an aisle seat on one row), members of the news media and, apparently, a few members of the public just here for the show. The rows are about half-full, though -- this isn't exactly going to be the Blue Man Show in Vegas, but we're expecting the first day proceedings to be worth hearing.

The gavel just came down and the State Bar's Disciplinary Judge William O'Neil asks the lawyers and parties to introduce themselves.

Aubuchon and her Montana attorney, Ed Moriarity, is here, but not Andrew Thomas, the chicken.

The reason for the hearings, which are neither a criminal or civil trial, but sort of resembles one: The former county attorney and his former two deputies messed up but good.

From the bad indictments of County Supervisors Wilcox and Don Stapley, to the accusation without evidence that a Superior Court Judge committed bribery, Thomas allegedly bent legal ethics to retaliate against his political foes.

John Gleason, the state-appointed lawyer who investigated the former county attorney and his cronies, is first up.

We'll cover his and others' opening statements this morning on this blog, so stay tuned for updates.

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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.
Contact: Ray Stern