Taxpayers to Continue Footing Bill for Andrew Thomas Defense

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Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas already has blown through the $100,000 in taxpayer money he was granted to defend himself in his upcoming state Bar ethics hearing, and now he's getting even more of your moolah for his defense.

The county has agreed to continue paying Thomas' attorney, Don Wilson, after Wilson filed a motion to withdraw from the case because there was no guarantee he'd get paid for his work. Thomas, he claimed, could then be forced to defend himself.

Yesterday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors passed the Thomas fiasco off to the county risk manger, who apparently alleviated some of Wilson's concerns.

Wilson did not immediately return our call this afternoon, but he tells the Arizona Republic he's "received some assurances from risk management that we're not going to have trouble getting paid."

How much he's going to get paid is another issue.

As we've noted, Thomas already has blown through $100,000, and that's with no firm hearing date having even been set.

According to emails first obtained by the Republic through a public records request, county officials discussed spending about $300,000 in taxpayer money on Thomas' defense, which is a lot of money, but nothing compared to the $50 million taxpayers have had to shell out over the years to defend his partner in crime, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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