Maricopa County Craziness

Thomas Asks for Approval of Special Prosecutors, Wants Inquiry into Statements by Yavapai and Pinal County Attorneys

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas wants approval of his special prosecutors, now that the state Supreme Court has denied a request to stay the prosecution of Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe.

We're hearing this from Thomas' office, which put out a news release today concerning the decision and two motions the office made in the case. As reported in this blog on Friday, the Supreme Court has assigned a "special master" to deal with the county's political mess: former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor.

One of the motions asks McGregor to approve Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing and James Rizer as special prosecutors in county-related cases. "These prosecutors are of the highest quality and experience," states the motion, as if the trio were prize horses.

The second motion asks McGregor to launch an inquiry into another of Thomas' alleged conspiracies.

The motion refers to statements critical of Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio made last week by Sheila Polk and James Walsh, the county attorneys in Yavapai and Pinal counties, and claims the statements violate ethical rules and are tainting the jury pool. "Moreover, these actions appear to be part of an orchestrated campaign to pressure law enforcement in Maricopa County to drop charges against influential criminal defendants and suspects."

As if McGregor didn't have enough allegations of conspiracies before her. Thomas and Arpaio are suing a number of county leaders for supposedly operating as a crime syndicate. They've implied Terry Goddard's part of a conspiracy. And now they want an investigation into an alleged conspiracy involving officials in Yavapai and Pinal counties.

Who'll be named as a conspirator next? Tune in soon!

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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.