Maricopa County Craziness

More Hypocrisy From Thomas: "Very Unusual" for a Judge to Attach Newspaper Article to Complaint -- Yet Two of Thomas' "Anti-Corruption" Cases Began That Way

Part Two of the morning testimony by former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas brought out even more of Thomas' apparently hypocritical thought processes.

We say hypocritical because it's difficult for us to believe that Thomas believes the words coming out of his mouth.

As we noted in our last post about today's hearing, Thomas claims that when a retired judge ruled against him, it was due to bias, but when he ruled for Thomas, it was because the judge didn't have enough "guts" to act on his bias. Crazy, right?

Well, we're getting a belly full of that line of thinking today.

Thomas just told the State Bar's disciplinary panel that it was "very unusual" for a judge to attach a newspaper article to a Bar complaint. The article in question was "Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution", which was about the trumped-up charges against and arrest of New Times executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.

It was "particularly" unusual that the paper in question was New Times, he quipped.

But really, he shouldn't think attaching articles to complaints is all that odd: Two of the major "anti-corruption" cases he tried to prosecute, the Mary Rose Wilcox case and the so-called "bug sweep" case were based initially on journalistic works.

The case against County Supervisor Wilcox, according to search warrants, began after an unnamed tipster (who could have been Sheriff Arpaio himself, for all we know) told investigators about a Phoenix Magazine article that described potential crimes. While the article by former New Times scribe Terry Greene Sterling was eyebrow-raising and made Wilcox look sleazy, the story didn't hold up so well as a criminal case. After a judge ruled that Thomas had a conflict in the Wilcox case, the charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence of a crime.

The bug-sweep case, in which County Supervisor Andy Kunasek was accused (and later exonerated) of improperly spending $14,000 in county funds, began with a 2009 Arizona Republic article.

Thomas' office attempted to prosecute both of those cases, despite their journalistic origins.

Now he's gonna complain that a judge can't do the same thing he did?

What a crock.

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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.