Joe and Andy's stinky little mess: Your story on the court tower was amazing. It really put everything with Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio into perspective. They were angry about their budgets getting slashed, so they did the only thing they know how — lash out with venom against anybody who dares oppose them.
And they stirred up quite a stinky little mess for county officials, which all seems to be unraveling now, thank God! I hope I live to see the day that Thomas is disbarred and Arpaio is behind bars.
Ev Jacobs, Phoenix
Rug pulled out from under reporter: You can see how an ambitious reporter might avoid all the usual problems of access and cooperation by being on the side of the cretins rather than against them.
That is, you can get a lot more easy TV stories by being friendly to Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas than by trying to uncover their corruption and/or malfeasance. If you want to do the latter, all access is blocked. But if you're going to blow them, "Whatever you want, Mr. Bernstein, sir!"
It was silver-platter time for Bernstein — until Sarah Fenske got his employer to pull the red carpet out from under him ("Josh Bernstein of ABC-15 Ripped by Boss," Valley Fever blog, February 15).
Terry Smith, Phoenix
Is Thomas playing us for fools?: Whoo-hoo! I'm comin' back, Arizona. I'll be the next Maricopa County Attorney, since you obviously don't need to know the law to get the job.
Either that or Thomas is playing everybody for the fool here. He seriously didn't think that having his office both prosecute and defend the same case would be a conflict of interest? Seriously?
And then he thinks he can bring up a judge on charges, citing conflict of interest because that same judge might someday have an office in the new court building? You have got to be kidding.
Add all the lying they've been caught doing in court, and I can't understand why this case is even being allowed to continue.
Arpaio and Thomas are two reasons that make me glad I got out of Arizona.
Mike Wells, Salt Lake City
Attorney too busy blogging to do her job: Deputy County Attorney Rachel Alexander doesn't have time to do her job; she is too busy blogging about the court tower over on the [right-wing] Sonoran Alliance blog.
Pete Snow, Phoenix
Stupidest corruption: I'm new to this area from the Northeast, and I've got to tell you . . . I've seen corruption in my time, but this is about the stupidest version of it I've ever heard of. How did County Attorney Andrew Thomas think he was going to get away with this?
As Sarah Fenske lays it out, Thomas and his apparently dumber-than-dirt deputies blew this at every opportunity. Real lawyers must be laughing their asses off. This has got to warrant some kind of disciplinary action from the state Bar — or worse!
Chad Sumner, address withheld
Proof is in black and white: This whole thing really reeks! How can this be happening?
Wow, I sometimes thought New Times just had it in for Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe until I read this factual piece. You have all the proof there in black and white.
These two — because they were soundly elected by voters — really just think that they can do whatever they please and get away with it, don't they? This story really chilled me about living in this county.
Timothy Higgins, address withheld
Blame it on delusional voters: The sad thing about this entire sordid affair is that it has exposed just how delusional a large segment of Maricopa County voters are.
They'd vote for a rabid serial killer if the serial killer promised to arrest a few illegal immigrants.
They utterly fail to understand what history has taught us: Tyrants come into power not by guns but with the full blessing of a deluded populace.
Who is this scumbag Josh Bernstein? Aren't journalists supposed to have some kind of standards?
You are now entering the Twilight Zone: Every time I drive up to Phoenix from Cochise County, I expect to see Rod Serling standing along Interstate 10 in a dark suit, looking slightly sinister and mischievous, with cigarette smoke swirling around him (all in black and white, of course)
Mr. Serling, if he were alive today, could doubtless offer a witty and sardonic discourse on Maricopa County, which enables wanna-be dictators to trample on the Constitution and intimidate all who disagree with them.
He might say, "You are now entering the Valley of the delusional, where political sorcerers practice the black arts of race-baiting and character assassination. It's a bizarre, Never-Never Land of snake-oil politics and strutting demagogues, otherwise known as . . . The Twilight Zone."