Inmates aren't getting transported to the courtroom of Maricopa County Superior Judge Lisa Flores because the Sheriff's Office hasn't replaced Adam Stoddard, the detention officer in jail on a contempt-of-court order.
|Judge Lisa Flores|
If you've been following this case, you'll recall that Stoddard had been assigned to Flores' court on the day that he snatched papers from a defense attorney's file. The court's presiding criminal judge, Gary Donahoe, later ordered Stoddard to report to jail unless he apologized to public defender Joanne Cuccia for taking the papers. Stoddard wouldn't apologize and has been in jail since Tuesday -- though you'll have to take the word of the Sheriff's Office on that, since where he's being "confined" is a secret. Overshadowing all of this is are Sheriff Joe Arpaio's claims that Donahoe is carrying out a political vendetta against him by using Stoddard as a political pawn.
Here's how this flap is seeping down to the daily workings of the court system: On two occasions, when Flores' assistant called the Sheriff's Office to find out why criminal defendants aren't showing up for their hearings, she was told "your deputy is in jail," says Jessica Funkhouser, special counsel to the Superior Court.More »