Wilcox Lawyer Part Two: Now Wants Guarantee Tucson Judge in Case Won't be Accused of Conspiracy

The lawyer for indicted Maricopa County Supervior Mary Rose Wilcox wants a guarantee that County Attorney Andrew Thomas won't accuse the Pima judge assigned to the case of conspiring against him.

In a motion filed today, attorney Colin Campbell asks the Superior Court to force Thomas to state publicly he won't try to kick Pima Superior Court Judge John Leonardo off the Wilcox case, accuse him of being part of the alleged conspiracy because of his upcoming rulings, or accuse anyone of conspiracy because he was assigned to the case.

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Image: Ray Stern
Colin Campbell

On Friday, Campbell filed a motion to dismiss in the case which we covered in a post earlier today.
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Image: Pima Superior Court
The motion discloses that Leonardo, while acting as Pima's presiding judge a few years ago, met regularly with other presiding judges -- including Campbell, the Maricopa court's former presiding judge.

Now Campbell's retired and in private practice. Is it a conflict of some sort for Wilcox, a longtime County supervisor who knew Campbell as a presiding judge, to now hire him as a lawyer? Or can Wilcox choose anyone she wants as a lawyer?

County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio sure find his representation of Wilcox suspicious, since they've launched a federal racketeering lawsuit against the Board of Supervisors and top Superior Court judges. Campbell's not named in the lawsuit, but Thomas stated publicly their new relationship is "interesting." Last week, the Sheriff's Office asked Campbell to respond to a list of questions related to the alleged corruption among county officials.

In a December 18 response to Campbell's motion to disqualify Thomas from the case, Thomas' office alleges that Campbell may have a conflict of interest in taking on Wilcox as a client, which is why the Sheriff's Office wanted to contact him.

Which brings us back to Leonardo.

After Wilcox was indicted, the current presiding Superior Court judge, Barbara Mundell, sent the case to Pima County to avoid an appearance of impropriety -- after all, she's named as a conspirator in the lawsuit. The presiding judge in Pima, Jan Kearney, assigned the case to Lernardo.

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Mary Rose Wilcox

But as Campbell admits, he and Leonardo know each other.

We're not sure who will decide this issue -- it appears that Leonardo will.

Campbell's motion states that Maricopa Judge Gary Donahoe was slapped with a criminal complaint because of his rulings, and there's no chance of Wilcox getting a fair trial if Leonardo has to worry about the same thing happening to him.

Seems to us that Thomas can safely make his public guarantee of no legal action against Leonardo, then let the chips fall where they may as far as Leonardo's rulings on the Wilcox case. If Thomas later feels like he got screwed, he still can say during his campaign for state Attorney General that Leonardo was, indeed, part of the conspiracy.


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