Outgoing Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas wants us to believe he's just fine with the decision to replace him with Rick Romley.
A statement by Thomas, released through his über-flack, Jason Rose, contains none of the vitriol or threats about Romley's appointment spouted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio today.
While Arpaio threatens to sue the Board of Supervisors (for the zillionth time) and Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott shows off pictures of his stuffed rattlesnake, "Rick," the wanna-be statesman and candidate for state attorney general pledges Romley his "cooperation and assistance."
Of course, it's unlikely that Romley would consider that offer anything but a joke.
Romley, though he supported Thomas in the 2004 election, turned the tables in 2008 and threw his weight (unsuccessfully, it turned out) behind Thomas' competitor, Tim Nelson.
Back then, Romley had choice words to describe Thomas' regime. Here's a sample from a column by New Times writer Sarah Fenske published in October of 2008:
In a sharply worded statement released at a press conference in front of Thomas' office, Romley, a 16-year veteran of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, criticized Thomas' "competency and judgment." He also cited the increasing number of cases the office is losing at trial, the arrests of New Times executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, and Thomas' habit of using RICO funds for self-promotion.
But Romley explained that his most serious concern is the way Thomas has polarized the community.
"During my lifetime, I have never seen our community so divided and at odds," Romley told the assembled press gaggle. "Today, a type of McCarthyism exists in Maricopa County and this is partially due to Andy Thomas.
If Romley believes his transition back into office requires any McCarthy-like tactics, no doubt he'll be sure to let Thomas know.
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