Maricopa County Craziness

Andrew Thomas Submits Grand Jury Transcripts From Stapley and Wilcox Cases in Bar Discipline Case; Documents Sealed

In preparation for his upcoming discipline hearing this fall, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has submitted grand jury transcripts from his failed prosecutions of two County Supervisors.

Because of secrecy rules about the doings of grand juries, the State Bar's presiding disciplinary judge, William O'Neil, ordered the documents regarding Supervisors Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox sealed. As New Times writer James King mentioned earlier this month, Thomas' defense appears to be nothing more than his continued offensive on the Supes -- despite the fact that his previous attempts to prove wrongdoing on their part ended in failure.

Thomas also attached a copy of the recent opinion by Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores about the second criminal case against Stapley, which is kind of weird. While Flores wrote in that document that she could have proved Stapley committed some crimes, she also made it clear that Thomas' dishonest actions in the case made the crimes impossible to prosecute.


The grand jury indictments of Wilcox and Stapley (in his 2008 criminal case), meanwhile, appear to support the old maxim that a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.

Thomas and his former henchwoman, Lisa Aubuchon, did a shoddy job presenting their evidence to the grand jury in the first Stapley case -- they got their indictment despite the fact that the underlying campaign-finance-disclosure law on which they based the case wasn't really a law. Also damning to Thomas was State Bar investigator John Gleason's research that seems to prove Thomas knew the statute of limitations had expired on the counts against Stapley before the case was brought to the grand jury.

As mentioned in the above link about Wilcox, the Gila County Attorney stated that the Wilcox case had an "utter lack of motive or evidence of any unlawful economic or political benefit from the financial disclosure omissions."

New Times came to the same conclusion soon after Wilcox's first indictment. A second indictment of Wilcox wasn't much better.

The grand jury exhibits are meant to support a motionfor partial summary judgment that Thomas filed recently to support the idea that he had probable cause to prosecute Stapley and Wilcox. He wants O'Neil to make an official ruling that backs the idea.

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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.