Bill Montgomery's Plot to Silence Mary Rose Wilcox Scores a Win
Dennis Gilman Who's afraid of Mary Rose Wilcox? Well, Monty, to begin with...
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's crusade to silence county Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox on the Melendres case scored a win Thursday, with a superior court judge declining to weigh in on Monty's argument that Wilcox has a conflict of interest regarding the federal civil rights lawsuit.
In a minute entry dated August 1, Judge Dean Fink granted the county attorney's motion to dismiss the matter, finding that the court did not have the authority to issue the sort of opinion Wilcox's lawyers were seeking.
"The Supervisor, through counsel, essentially conceded at oral argument that what the Supervisor is seeking is a contrary opinion to that of the County Attorney in order to make it highly unlikely that a prosecutor would bring criminal charges against the Supervisor," Fink writes.
"But, like the County Attorney's opinion, the Court's opinion would not be binding on any prosecutor. It would be little more than a public relations tool to apply political pressure. Those are not waters into which the Court is inclined to wade."
Monty has warned Wilcox in writing that if she participates in official discussions or votes on whether the county will fund an appeal of a federal judge's decision in Melendres, she will be violating Arizona's conflict of interest statute.
The argument is ludicrous and incorrect, as Wilcox does not benefit financially from Melendres, and benefiting financially is the very definition of a criminal conflict of interest under state law.
Indeed, during oral arguments two weeks ago on Wilcox's complaint, Montgomery's outside counsel Stephen Tully, who is being paid $200-$250 an hour by the taxpayers to do Monty's dirty work, was stymied when he tried to explain Monty's twisted legal reasoning to the judge.
Montgomery's official position is that Wilcox's civil settlement with the county in an unrelated case from the dark days of disbarred ex-county attorney Andy Thomas creates the conflict at hand.
But Fink wasn't buying.