Andrew Thomas Possibly to Appear in Court Today in Case of County Attorney Vs. County

It looks like Round Two of the lawsuit between Maricopa County and the Maricopa County Attorney's office begins today.

An "order to show cause" has been issued in the case, and we understand it's likely Andrew Thomas has been ordered to appear for a hearing at 1:30 p.m. (Thomas could send an attorney in his place -- looking likelier now -- as of 11:30 a.m., Thomas plans to hold a 2 p.m. news conference about the bust of illegal immigrants at the Scottsdale Art Factory).

We called Tom Irvine, the county's lawyer, to confirm but he didn't call us back. Michael Scerbo, spokesman for Thomas, says he knows nothing about it, but will send us an e-mail if he hears something.

This is the case in which Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio are suing the county and its Board of Supervisors for "firing" him as the county attorney in civil matters. The board is irked that Thomas is investigating sitting County Supervisor Don Stapley -- for some crazy reason, they think it might be a conflict of interest.

We'll get back to you later from the hearing. Whether Thomas shows or not, it should be worth watching.

If you're interested, the case number is CV2008-033194. (You can look up that or any county court case on the Superior Court Web site.

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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.