Andrew Thomas' Hitwoman Lisa Aubuchon Shot Down on Appeal of Dismissal

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Aubuchon: "delusional hubris" personified

Bunny boiler. Sorry, all I could think of as I read through Maricopa County Hearing Officer Harold Merkow's report on former Deputy County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon and her ongoing appeal of her dismissal, was Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. What will it take, I wonder, for the county to be rid of this power-mad crazy lady?

A lot, apparently. Merkow suggests that the county Merit Commission uphold Aubuchon's September 2010 firing by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, then under the command of interim County Attorney Rick Romley.

Now Aubuchon's appeal goes before the Merit Commission on April 6, which could run with Merkow's recommendation, send it back to him for further inquiry, or, hypothetically, reject it.

Even if the Merit Commission upholds Aubuchon's dismissal, she could appeal the decision to the Maricopa County Superior Court, according to county spokeswoman Cari Gerchick.

And then, there's the notice of claim with the county for a combined $60 million by Aubuchon, her ex-boss, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's erstwhile Chief Deputy David Hendershott, who is still on paid leave pending the result of an administrative investigation that's been farmed out to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Merkow's scathing 97 page document goes over some of the same ground as the bar investigation report done by independent counsel John Gleason -- the one suggesting that both Aubuchon and her partner-in-infamy Thomas be disbarred.

The Merkow report confirms, for the umpteenth time, that there was nothing of merit behind the Thomas-Aubuchon-Hendershott vendettas against county supervisors and judges, not to mention the disastrous and risible RICO suit. (You can read the entire report for yourself, here.)

And when I say "nothing," I mean, literally, nothing. Particularly in the case of criminal charges sought against Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe, and a RICO suit that alleged a wacky, nebulous conspiracy on the part of various county officials and judges to build a new Court Tower.

To this point, Merkow writes,

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(Note: Baker was an investigator working on behalf of the MCAO, and she questioned Aubuchon at length.)

To gin up charges on Donahoe, a judge who had ruled against the Thomas-Aubuchon-Hendershott troika and was likely to do so again, Aubuchon simply regurgitated an ethics complaint authored by Hendershott against Donahoe. She charged Donahoe with bribery, obstruction of justice, and hindering prosecution.

(BTW, it was none other than Sheriff Joe Arpaio himself who suggested criminally charging Donahoe, according to the Gleason report.)

Aubuchon rushed to get the charges filed in advance of a 1:30 p.m. hearing before Donahoe on December 9, 2009, so Donahoe would recuse himself. She ran into a little problem when the detectives in the County Attorney's office refused to go before a judge with it. They saw no probable cause for the charges, because there was none.

But the charges were ultimately filed with the assistance of the MCSO, and Donahoe canceled the 1:30 p.m. hearing. Ultimately, those same charges were stayed by a Pima County judge. Aubuchon then went before a Maricopa County grand jury, attempting to keep the matter alive until she and Thomas could score a special prosecutor in the case. Instead, the grand jury voted to end the inquiry.

What's scary about all this, of course, is that the Thomas-Aubuchon-Hendershott axis was framing a Superior Court judge. And if they could do it judges, county supervisors, and other county employees, what could they do, do ya think, to little ol' you and me?

Aubuchon drafted the RICO case at Thomas' behest, and she drafted it very badly: One, because there was no conspiracy; two, because she'd never done it before. The MCAO had an attorney who specialized in such cases, a guy named Peter Spaw. But he didn't write the thing. In fact, Spaw and others at the MCAO knew that the RICO complaint was dead on arrival.

Spaw advised Thomas to distance himself from it. (Neither the Donahoe or the RICO cases went through the normal vetting process.) Later, Spaw testified that the RICO case was "incomprehensible" and "defectively pled [sic] at a breathtaking level."

Spaw attempted to get supporting documents from Aubuchon concerning the RICO filing, but Aubuchon had nothing to give him.

"You just don't get it," Aubuchon spewed when  Spaw asked for the evidence behind the complaint.

A lot of other people didn't get it either, including Thomas' loyal henchman Barnett Lotstein. Merkow describes Lotstein's reaction to the RICO suit in this passage:

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And when Barnett Lotstein thinks it's a bad idea, you know you're in trouble.

Interestingly, in the ten days or so of hearings from November 2010 to February 2011 on Aubuchon's appeal of her dismissal, neither Lotstein, nor Thomas, nor Hendershott testified on Aubuchon's behalf. Thus proving conclusively the old adage about honor among scoundrels.

Arpaio's high-powered DC attorney Robert Driscoll met with Spaw, who convinced him the RICO suit was headed for a "nasty dismissal." Arpaio and Thomas dropped the suit, and forwarded it over to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which didn't want it, BTW.

Nevertheless, U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke reviewed the suit, and wrote a letter to then interim County Attorney Rick Romley advising Romley that there was "a total lack of evidence" to support it, and that "the evidence was so lacking as to make the theory of liability nearly incomprehensible."

After reading Merkow's report, you get the feeling that Aubuchon is basically toast, but is so delusional that she thinks she can prevail somehow. Prior to Thomas taking office in 2005, Aubuchon labored in relative obscurity. But Thomas evidently saw in her someone who would do his bidding.

She was promoted, first to division chief, supervising 100 other lawyers. Then in 2007, she was made the primary attorney in Arpaio and Thomas' now-defunct Maricopa Anti-Corruption Enforcement Unit (MACE). 

By comparison, pro-Thomas lawyer/blogger Rachel Alexander -- also the subject of a pending bar complaint -- comes off like a bumbling, clueless stooge. Alexander was ultimately handed the RICO case, but even Thomas recognized at one point that Alexander couldn't handle the job.

Aubuchon was on a tear, but once Thomas resigned to run for Attorney General, the source of her power, her protector, was gone.

Merkow, himself a lawyer, shows Aubuchon no mercy for the havoc she's wrought, referring to her at one point as a "dervish" and rejecting her argument that she was just abiding Thomas' wishes like the proverbial Good German.

He observes,

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I like the "hubris" line. My only objection would be that, according to Aristotle at least, hubris is the downfall of a tragic hero, who is by nature noble and virtuous. But there's no element of nobility in Aubuchon's tale. And certainly no virtue.



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29 comments
CA
CA

Generally speaking, most lawyers and prosecutors do not pursue matters like these unless good evidence exist. To do so would be suicide by stupidity and people in these positions are just not that stupid. Besides they are not the ones accussed of the corruption and taking on judges and a board of supervisors is not an easy fight. The mistake they made was not realizing how much corruption existed and how many road blocks existed. The truth will eventually come out and then you can be a better judge.

As for assuming any support for LA would come from AT or one of their supporters, the same sould be said the comments listed here attacking either are from one of the accused judges or supervisors.

As for calling one of Gods children fat an ugly etc., shame on you.

Shar Pei
Shar Pei

Kind of sad. Candy let his Bottom Bitch come up short.

Coz
Coz

What a dumb bitch she is.

majii
majii

I'm a resident of another state who has been following this drama for quite some time now, and it occurs to me to ask the question: who's paying for all of these politicians' hubris? If it's the taxpayers of AZ and/or Phoenix, they should be marching in the streets in protest.

Tina
Tina

Hearing Officer Harold Merkow wrote that Aubuchon's "impetuosity.....was nothing other than delusional hubris," and due to my severely limited vocabulary, I headed for the dictionary for the meaning of "hubris."

Here it is.

hubris: exaggerated pride or self-confidence often resulting in retribution.

The hearing officer, also a lawyer, certainly called that one right.

Dennisflood80
Dennisflood80

All of Lisa's efforts were meant to propel her up the political ladder so she could rub elbows with the likes of Arpaio, Pierce and Brewer.

Instead, she'll be bumping doughnuts with likes of Deborah Milkey.

rick the prick
rick the prick

fat bitch should forget about collecting a heft paycheck and get that big, tub of lard, ugly ass back to work. geez id hate to be her underwear.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Lisa's streak of winning in court continues. She now has zero wins and about 1000 losses...

msfreeh
msfreeh

see link for full storyhttp://www.cnn.com/2011/US/01/...CNN exclusive: FBI misconduct reveals sex, lies and videotape

By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN Special Investigations UnitJanuary 27, 2011

Editor's note: Some content in this report may be offensive to readers. For more on this CNN exclusive story, watch Kyra Phillips' full report on "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer" tonight starting at 5 p.m. ET.

Washington (CNN) -- An FBI employee shared confidential information with his girlfriend, who was a news reporter, then later threatened to release a sex tape the two had made.

A supervisor watched pornographic videos in his office during work hours while "satisfying himself."

And an employee in a "leadership position" misused a government database to check on two friends who were exotic dancers and allowed them into an FBI office after hours.

These are among confidential summaries of FBI disciplinary reports obtained by CNN, which describe misconduct by agency supervisors, agents and other employees over the last three years.

Read the FBI documents obtained by CNN

craig81
craig81

Poor Lisa..being mean doesnt win..don't you know that..what a dunce

Lisa-is-Good
Lisa-is-Good

The merit commission chairman quit too. I hear that is because he is being pressured to keep framing Lisa when she is innocent.

XSoldier
XSoldier

I have absolutely no doubt that the Merit Commission Board will have no problems upholding Mr. Merkow's recommendations.....

Then again, maybe Lisa Aubuchon will sue him in a RICO lawsuit and allege that there is a giant conspiracy and everyone is out to get her.....

I can't wait for the disbarment showdown. Anyone know when that starts?

Concerned Citizen/Taxpayer
Concerned Citizen/Taxpayer

What's sad is the damage caused by their wrecking ball through the state of Arizona. Bragging about 200,000 convictions since Thomas came into office in January 2005 should call for a public outcry. Sad is the damage done to innocent men, women, children and families by out of control malicious prosecution that knew no boundaries.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

We the taxpayers of Maricopa County are paying for it and have been for years. Think of it as an economic stimulus program........for lawyers.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I thought I remembered all those words in the report Tina. However I pulled the dictionary and found that I actually did need to look them up. Tina is right about Merkow hitting the nail on the head. Each big word has a purpose and they are justly used.

XSoldier
XSoldier

Wait till you see her in person. It gets worse.....

Car_ddel99
Car_ddel99

Hi thomas !!! still defending Lisa , I see...

021899
021899

It must be Lisa, " I hear " , is that the basis for your conspiracy theory?

I heard the Easter Bunny brings candy.I heard Santa Claus is coming to town. I heard the Tooth Fairy brings money.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I also heard that the Chairman of the County Merit Commission resigned from his position and from the Commission entirely. I did not hear any reason for his resigning. As far as Lisa Aubuchon being framed, the real hard cold facts of this matter are that Lisa did not behave as a prosecutor or a practicing attorney should behave. Instead, she behaved corruptly an unethically. She has violated MCAO policy, state and federal laws, the canons of ethics, and the trust of the people of Maricopa County.

There is a common perception in her defense that people are out to get her. Well, with her behavior, they damn sure should be out to get her. Recall a few years ago we had the serial shooter incidents. People were out to get them too. When your behavior offends what people view as common decency, they will be out to get you Lisa.

Andrew Thomas is cut from the same mold here. People are out to get him too, for good reason.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Huh?

The only framing of Lisa is Lisa. The frame consists of the tissue surrounding her mouth when she moves it to form words.

But, you can believe what you're saying if you wish to, Lisa...

XSoldier
XSoldier

Unfortunately. It must be great to be a lawyer in this state.

Anon
Anon

Gerry, Well said.

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