The lawsuit filed by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office against county management -- the result of disputed ownership of a computer system -- will now move to Pima County, the Maricopa Superior Court has ruled.
This looks like a victory for the sheriff's side: His lawyer's had asked for an "emergency venue change" during lively hearings earlier this month about the takeover of county equipment by armed deputies. David Selden, the lawyer for county management, told Judge Joseph Heilman that Arpaio's team was "judge-shopping" and possibly buying time to examine data in the seized computers. Heilman denied the motions.
A minute entry filed today in the case confirms that the Superior Court has been served as a defendant. The case will be transferred to Pima "to avoid any appearance of impropriety."
It looks like the feud among our county leaders is providing good business for judges and lawyers over half the state. Andrew Thomas transferred the prosecution of Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley to Yavapai County in April. At the same time, Thomas also transferred to Yavapai his investigation into the planned Maricopa County Superior Court building and any future investigations of county leaders or Supervisors.
It's hard to say what kind of shake Arpaio will get in Tucson. He sure complained about Pima County after its chief legal defender, Isabel Garcia, attended a protest that featured the decapitation of an Arpaio pinata.
If this really is judge-shopping, the sheriff might end up with buyer's remorse.
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