Maricopa County Craziness

Maricopa County Paid $1.5 Million to Defend Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander

The bill to defend a gang of rogue prosecutors in Maricopa County: $1.5 million.

At least former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his bad-girl deputies, Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander, now all disbarred or suspended, won't be getting any more of their lawyers' bills paid for by county taxpayers. Yesterday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors announced it had decided not to pay for any appeals by Alexander and Thomas, if they should launch any. Aubuchon filed a notice of appeal last Friday.

It's only fair that Supervisors Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley receive criticism over their pending lottery-sized payouts, which are being paid for by county taxpayers.

But Thomas and his ex-pal, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, are the reason that former and current county officials have sued. And as seven-digit legal fees show, the trio of corrupt prosecutors cost the county plenty of dough -- directly.

Taxpayers paid dearly to defend these destroyers of justice -- for Thomas' lies, perjuries, false accusations and abuse of power.

Cari Gerchick, county spokesman, tells New Times that Thomas' defense against the State Bar charges cost $900,000.

Alexander's cost $300,000.

We'll let Gerchick describe the fees for Aubuchon, since it gets a bit complicated:

The county did not pay for Moriarty (Aubuchon) but at one time, Aubuchon, before the charges were brought, had MCAO pay about $260,000 to Wilenchek's law firm. Mark Goldman was her attorney - there were no bar charges filed at the time. Romley was the County Attorney at the time and fired Wilenchik from representing Aubuchon.

That brings the total to $1,460,000.

And from the beginning, it was a hopeless defense.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.
Contact: Ray Stern