Maricopa County Craziness

Mary Rose Wilcox Settlement Check to be Cut? Maricopa Supervisors in Exec Session Today

It appears that Mary Rose Wilcox will finally be able to deposit a few hundred grand of taxpayer money into her bank account.

Wilcox, the former longtime County Supervisor who resigned to run for Congress, won another court ruling on June 2 for her right to a pre-arranged $975,000 settlement with the county, but hasn't been paid yet.

That could change after this morning, when an executive session of Maricopa County Board of Supervisors took place that may have decided the issue.

See also: -Supervisors Spend $375,442 to Stop Mary Rose Wilcox From Getting $975,000

We're waiting on word from the county as to what happened in the closed session.

The June 2 ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was a slam-dunk for Wilcox. However, Republican Supervisors, apparently at the wishes of the Republican County Attorney, Bill Montgomery, didn't proceed to cut Wilcox -- a Democrat -- her check.

More than a week later, the woman whose rights were abused by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and disbarred former county attorney Andrew Thomas has not seen the money.

Colin Campbell, Wilcox's lawyer, told us last week he expects the county to give in, especially now that Wilcox is no longer a Supervisor.

It's possible that the county could request an appeal of the June 2 decision by the Ninth Circuit's panel; the county could ask for a full en banc decision. The county could also appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Campbell says the odds of the county winning either of those appeals are very high.

As we've previously reported, the county has already spent nearly $400,000 to save county taxpayers from paying Wilcox $975,000. The county's effort to stop Wilcox from cashing in has reached a ludicrous point, considering that Supervisor Andrew Kunasek and former Supervisor Don Stapley have received settlements of $123,000 and $3.5 million, respectively, for basically the same thing Wilcox sued over.

Though Kunasek's settlement just covered his legal bills, Wilcox will have a pretty good nest egg left over once that high-six-figure check comes in. Maybe she'll use the public's money to help her bid for Congress.

She may need the extra help. A poll released recently by her competitor, former state Representative Ruben Gallego, seems to indicate a tight race.

We'll let you know what the Supervisors do, when and if they do it.

(UPDATE 5 p.m.) -- Cari Gerchick, spokeswoman for Maricopa County, says no word has come either way today on the issue of Wilcox's check. We'll let you know this week if anything changes.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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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.
Contact: Ray Stern