Ed Moriarity has quit as Lisa Aubuchon's pro-bono attorney, saying he and his law firm can no longer afford to work on her long-running case.
The countrified, oft-combative Montana lawyer defended Aubuchon for free through the disciplinary hearings that resulted in the disbarment of his client and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
Aubuchon, who was fired from her job as deputy county attorney, is appealing the disbarment order and has won a temporary stay. She can continue to practice law until the state Supreme Court decides if the disbarment can be stayed throughout her entire appeal process.
In other words, she's going to need a lawyer for a while yet. But Moriarity has had enough.
A motion to be relieved as her attorney was granted this week. In that motion, Moriarity says he and one of his partners, Bradley Booke, "have been participating in this lengthy litigation and have not been compensated.
"Additionally, they have paid all of the case-related costs, which are well in excess of $100,000," Moriarity wrote. "They cannot afford to continue to do so."
Aubuchon declined to comment on the matter. Moriarity did not return an e-mail sent to him on Thursday.
This doesn't mean Moriarity is leaving Arizona for good. He's the lawyer for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's former top men, David Hendershott and Larry Black, plus Black's good friend Joel Fox, who are suing Arpaio, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and others in a lawsuit filed last month.
Hendershott, Black and Fox were fired after an investigation revealed they were key players in a long list of scandals, ethical lapses and potential crimes. Moriarity had represented Hendershott and Black in a previous lawsuit that was reportedly thrown out of court. He's also still representing Fox in the former captain's appeal of his termination.
Presumably, the trio scraped up enough cash to satisfy the lawyer's needs.