Candy "Babyface" Thomas, minus his Dirty Sanchez mustache.
Amazing that the Arizona Capitol Times buried this story on page 8 of their current issue: "State Bar files ethics complaint against County Attorney." (Sorry there's no link: you have to be a subscriber.) The piece offers a recap of the ongoing legal battle between County Attorney Candy "Babyface" Thomas and the entire Maricopa County Superior Court, and we get the following development, which by all rights should be on the tabloid's front page:
Following Thomas’ announcement of his intention, Bob McWhirter, a public defense attorney representing the defendant, said he would consider filing an ethics complaint against the county attorney.
But the complaint did not originate from McWhirter. Dan McAuliffe, the State Bar president, said the complaint and an investigation were generated by the State Bar.
Without further legal action, McAuliffe said he could not comment further on the complaint and could not speculate what, if any, sanctions against Thomas could arise.
WTF?! The part about McWhirter threatening a Bar complaint was out there, but not the fact that the State Bar is investigating Thomas, or that "the complaint and an investigation were generated by the State Bar."
I got on the horn to AZ State Bar spokesperson Patricia Giallanza, and she verified the story. She also told me that the State Bar's looking into Thomas' junkyard attack schnauzer Dennis "Well-Paid" Wilenchik. However, The Wily One's inquiry was sparked by someone outside the Bar's office, Giallanza stated. She declined to give the name of the complainant in the Wilenchik matter.
State Bar Prez McAuliffe has been vocal in the wake of Wilenchik's Thomas-sponsored assault on the Superior Court. In an October 5 post to the State Bar's Web site, McAuliffe stated, "Recent attacks on the judiciary, in the manner in which they are currently being conducted, undermine the legal process."
Wilenchik and Thomas were not mentioned, but you know who's being talked about. He continued:
"The State Bar is committed to the principle of an independent judiciary. There is a right way to question a judge's actions, and that is through the appellate courts or the Commission on Judicial Conduct—not through the media. We at the Bar are extremely concerned at what appear to be extra-judicial attempts to resolve issues that our system of justice commits to an independent judiciary."
And in an October 10 letter to the Arizona Republic, McAuliffe wrote that,
"These attacks appear to be transparent attempts to cow the judiciary into rulings that are acceptable to the source of these attacks. The prospect of having a decision vilified on the front page of your newspaper cannot help but have a chilling effect on the ability of a judge to evaluate independently the legal merits of an issue that has been presented for decision.
"There is a correct way to question a judge's actions, and that is through the appellate courts or the Commission on Judicial Conduct, and not through the media."
Are Thomas and Wilenchik on their way to being sanctioned somehow by the State Bar? That would be an incredible development, but then it's already incredible that the State Bar on its own would begin investigating a sitting a County Attorney.
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More on this as it develops. Till then, check these past Feathered Bastard entries for background on the ongoing legal donnybrook: