Rachel Alexander, one of former Maricopa County Attorney Andy Thomas' key insiders during his six years in office, is on the stand trying to explain how she got put "in charge" of an ill-conceived and politically motivated civil racketeering case against county supervisors, judges, and others.
The way Alexander describes it, Andy Thomas asked her in December 2009 to assume the helm of the infamous and eventually abandoned RICO case in which Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio sued, among others, members of the other two branches of the county government (including elected officials), a law firm, and two county administrators.
Thomas/Arpaio claimed in the suit (which allegedly was written by Lisa Aubuchon) that the "defendants" had engaged in bribery, extortion, obstruction of justice, and other wrongdoing.
It happened a few days after Thomas and Arpaio announced that they were bringing felony criminal charges against then-presiding county criminal Judge Gary Donahoe (who was one of the civil defendants in the racketeering case). That "bribery" case, as probably everyone who is reading this knows, also never went anywhere.
Alexander--who testified that she never has been the first or second-chair in any litigation during her 11 years as a licensed attorney--said she thought she would be getting legal assistance from inside and outside her office.
But the outside help never materialized, she said, because those private attorneys were "terrified of the [county] supervisors...A lot of people were kind of nervous to be associated with things like that."
But Alexander had no such qualms about going against the evildoers who supposedly were trying to bring her boss (Thomas) and his boss (Arpaio) down.
The phrase "lack of a moral compass" comes to mind.
Here is a pretty comprehensive story from February 2010 by our old (as in former, not age) colleague Sarah Fenske that gets into the nuts-and-bolts of the RICO case and the Alexander "situation."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism