Maricopa County Craziness

Rachel Alexander Sells Stuff, Heads to Seattle; Still Appealing AZ Law-License Suspension

See also: Andrew Thomas' Rachel Alexander: "Incompetent" Bankruptcy Lawyer with a $128K Price Tag, and Counting

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

Rachel Alexander has put her major appliances up for sale and apparently moved to Seattle, but is still appealing the suspension of her law license in Arizona.

The conservative blogger and disgraced lawyer seemed to have blown her chance at the appeal back in June after failing to turn in her opening brief on time. But William O'Neil, state Supreme Court Disciplinary Judge, gave her a second chance a few days later and allowed her appeal to move forward.

Alexander was ordered in April to be suspended for her role in the same, unethical actions against local judges, lawyers and county leaders that resulted in the disbarment of her then-boss, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Former prosecutor Lisa Aubuchon was also disbarred. Aubuchon's appealing, but Thomas isn't -- he carries around a big stick of wood these days and pretends he's a movie character.

You can read the brief that Alexander subsequently turned in on July 6 on the state Supreme Court's Web site. It shows that one of her main tactics now is to blame her bad decisions on her superiors, namely Thomas and Peter Spaw, the latter of whom escaped scrutiny in the debacle initially but is now being investigated.

"Throughout this matter Alexander learned that significant information was kept from her, that people she trusted she should not have, and that lawyers she relied on for advice and guidance failed her," she wrote in the brief.

Trouble is, the "just following orders" defense doesn't work when you're a lawyer and responsible for your own ethics. Alexander worked on the racketeering case cooked up by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Thomas without recognizing its serious deficiencies that were obvious to many at the time, like New Times' Sarah Fenske. Spaw may be culpable, too, but that won't absolve Alexander.

A few weeks after penning her brief, Alexander's Facebook site shows, the blogger put her refrigerator, washer and dryer up for sale and drove to Washington. Someone asked if she's moving there, and she replied, "Gonna go take care of my ill mom!" Joan Stewart-Ponath, Alexander's friend, answered the phone when we called the Alexander Bankruptcy Law Firm this afternoon, saying she could "neither confirm nor deny" whether Alexander has moved from the Valley. Whether or not the bankruptcy firm is still open is a moot question.

Alexander, the only lawyer for her firm, can't take on any new clients during her appeal. That's meant "no income" to the business since mid-June, her brief states. Yet the law business she runs with her fiance was the sole source of income for his four children, she wrote.

With all due respect to Alexander's reportedly ill mom, we can't help but wonder if Alexander will be helping her mom -- or her mom will be taking care of her.

Click here to see the court documents in the Thomas-Aubuchon-Alexander discipline case, including the latest filings concerning Alexander and Aubuchon.

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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.