Maricopa County Craziness

Peter Spaw, Deputy County Attorney, Focus of New State Supreme Court Probe Stemming From Andrew Thomas Case

See also: Peter Spaw, Deputy County Attorney, Under State Bar "Inquiry" for Role in Discredited Racketeering Case; Also Named in New Lawsuits

See also: Rachel Alexander Wins Reprieve From Judge; Appeal Back on Track

County prosecutor Peter Spaw is the subject of a new ethics probe related to the same case that resulted in the disbarment of former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

The state Supreme Court's Attorney Discipline Probable Cause Committee has found probable cause to investigate allegations of misconduct against Spaw, the court announced today. John Gleason, the Colorado attorney who investigated the unethical actions of Thomas and his former underlings, Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander, will work the new case.

Aubuchon was also disbarred, while Alexander was suspended for six months and a day. Both women are appealing the decisions; Alexander is allowed to continue practicing law during her appeal.

The probable cause order doesn't get into specifics. But during lengthy hearings last year before a three-member panel, Spaw was alleged to have supervised Alexander during her work on the now-discredited federal racketeering lawsuit launched by Thomas and his then-ally, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, against judges, county officials and others.

Following the conclusion of those hearings, a State Bar spokesman told New Times that Spaw was the subject of a "pre-screening inquiry" because of the allegations. That screening has now led to a full-blown investigation that could result in disciplinary action against Spaw.

Spaw's also named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit by deputy county manager Sandi Wilson and former judge Gary Donahoe, who were among the targets of Thomas and Arpaio.

Considering what happened to his co-workers, Spaw might want to start planning for a suspension of his own law license.

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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.