Maricopa County Craziness

Andrew Thomas Can't Even Resign Properly, County Claims

Earlier today, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced his resignation, declaring that he'll quit the office to run for Arizona Attorney General.

But the county's general counsel, Wade Swanson, followed up on that announcement with a pointed letter suggesting that Thomas is hardly ready to be the state's top law enforcement officer: Dude can't even follow the law, Swanson notes, on how to resign his post.

As Swanson writes, state law requires that county officers must make their resignations to the chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

But Thomas -- either out of sloppiness or an unwillingness to so much as acknowledge his nemeses on the board of supervisors -- made his resignation to the clerk of the board instead.

Suffice it to say, the supervisors were all too willing to accept it anyway.

"Despite the fact that you have arguably failed to follow the law when submitting your resignation, we will consider your cc'ing Chairman Don Stapley on your letter to the Clerk of the Board to be sufficient," Swanson wrote.


"In addition, and even if your resignation is later declared to be legally deficient, your formal public declaration of candidacy today has made the office of Maricopa County Attorney vacant ... and the Board of Supervisors intends to act accordingly."

Sounds a little formal. But, hey, this is Maricopa County. And this is Andrew Thomas -- you can't take anything, no matter how seemingly obvious, for granted. (Can't you just see him claiming his resignation wasn't for real, so now he's back -- nooooo!) 

And so now the question is whether the board will let Thomas resign April 6, as he intends, or whether he'll get pushed out first. Thomas posted a video on his campaign Web site today, making it clear that he will run: Doesn't that mean his campaign is no longer merely exploratory, but official? And does that mean, as Swanson seems to be implying, that his office is now vacant as of today? 

Regardless, while Thomas revs up for a great and glorious future as AG, the supervisors are proceeding with plans for his replacement. Chairman Stapley announced that he'll ask the other supervisors to help him create a committee "to review and make recommendations" regarding the vacancy. Each supervisor will be asked to appoint one person who is "respected in the community" and whose advice they value.

And in other news, a trio of Democratic candidates for attorney general presented a united front against their newest official opponent.

In a prepared statement issued via the state Democratic Party, candidates David Lujan, Felecia Rotellini, and Vince Rabago sharpened their knives and salivated at the thought of taking on Thomas.

Okay, not literally, but their statement surely gives a taste of things to come:

It's rather fitting this was announced on April Fool's Day. After forcing Arizonans to endure his costly and ethically bankrupt legal battle with county officials, Andrew Thomas now has the nerve to ask voters for a promotion. He talks as if he's tough on crime, but his actions reveal a politician who cares more about pursuing his own political vendettas than about keeping our streets safe from violent criminals. Arizonans want their law-enforcement officials to spend tax dollars wisely and keep criminals off our streets. Andrew Thomas has failed on both counts.