Bill Montgomery's Lawyer Stephen Tully Chokes, Trying to Defend Monty's Move to Silence Mary Rose Wilcox
Mary Rose Wilcox: the Latina grandma all the white guys in ties are afraid of...
I confess, it's damn entertaining watching a highly-paid lawyer completely flummoxed in court, sputtering like a percolator, particularly when you disagree with him.
Which is what happened Friday afternoon in Maricopa County Superior Court before Judge Dean Fink, as Fink gently grilled legal beagle Stephen Tully, the gent representing County Attorney Bill Montgomery in Wilcox v. Montgomery.
That's the lawsuit by county Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, asking for a declaratory judgment, stating that Wilcox does not have a conflict of interest in discussing or voting on an appeal of the ACLU's big civil rights lawsuit, Melendres v. Arpaio.
During the hour-long hearing in downtown's Old Courthouse, Fink wanted to know, specifically, how Wilcox's voting or discussing Melendres on the board would be a conflict for the supervisor.
Tully struggled for an answer.
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"I'm a little bit uncomfortable arguing anything that's outside the county attorney's opinion," Tully admitted. "Does [Wilcox] have an indirect pecuniary interest in the Melendres suit? Certainly she could have."
See, Montgomery issued an opinion in June, stating that this supposed conflict of interest has to do with a nearly $1 million settlement Wilcox and the county agreed to in a federal suit, regarding bogus charges brought against her during the regime of Monty's predecessor, disbarred political pariah Andy Thomas, onetime stooge of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The judge in Wilcox's federal complaint ordered the county to pay the settlement, but Monty, for his own political reasons, has appealed that order to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where it now sits.
Melendres deals with racial profiling by the MCSO. Wilcox's lawsuit dealt with retaliation by Arpaio against his enemies, Wilcox being one.
The two are not related, and Fink observed as much, more than once during Friday's oral argument.
"I'm not sure how there's relevance and how the Melendres case can get into Supervisor Wilcox's case," Fink stated.
Tully hemmed and hawed, trying to come up with something, anything.
Well, they are both civil rights cases, he offered, maintaining that because of this, somehow Wilcox could use the ruling in Melendres in her lawsuit, should Monty's asinine appeal to the Ninth triumph.
"The county gets sued and the sheriff gets sued all the time," Fink observed. "Those can be involving civil rights as well."