Maricopa County Craziness

Video Clips, Links From Sheila Polk's Bombshell Testimony in Hearing to Disqualify Andrew Thomas

Earlier this week, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk took the stand to testify about her dealings with Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The testimony was ostensibly about the criminal case against County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox -- Wilcox's lawyer, Colin Campbell, had asked Polk to testify to show that Thomas was biased against his client, among other things, and that should disqualify Thomas' office from prosecuting the case.

But the hearing also revealed the behind-the-scenes power struggle between Thomas, Arpaio -- and the truly "independent" prosecutor they once thought they could control.

We've put together a video clip showing excerpts from Polk's testimony. She explains that her chief of staff, Dennis Magrane, was forced to write a letter to Chief Deputy David Hendershott, instructing him on the use of grand jury subpoenas. She also talks about Hendershott's nasty response -- a pair of threatening voice mails -- after Polk announced she'd be revealing her concerns about Thomas and Arpaio's ethics.

For those who've been following these matters, it may be interesting to note that the prosecutor questioning Polk at the end of the video is the infamous Lisa Aubuchon.

Read Ray Stern's initial blog post here and Sarah Fenske's coverage of the hearing here.

Also testifying at the hearing: County Attorney Thomas, who defended his office's handling of the case. His testimony is quite a contrast to Polk's measured, effective truth-telling.

See New Times executive editor Michael Lacey's analysis here and columnist Sarah Fenske's analysis of one of the hearing's bigger revelations here.

Here's a video link to some of the highlights of Thomas' testimony.

In the first excerpt, Thomas denies asking for damages in his lawsuit against Mary Rose Wilcox -- only to admit, oh yes, he did ask for them. Then he denies saying he had a property right in his office, only to admit ultimately that (in his stupid racketeering claim against county officials) he claims to have one.

Also classic: note Thomas' befuddlement when Polk points out the sheriff's ethical problems. The dude seriously doesn't seem to get it.

Finally, reader "Coz" alerted us to some audio of Chief Deputy Hendershott's threatening voice mails to Magrane in a comment. You can listen to them here, on this link from Channel 12 news.

And for those of you who want both sides of the story, here's the sheriff's response. We can only hope you find it as funny as we do.

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Sarah Fenske
Contact: Sarah Fenske