Lisa Aubuchon Asks Court to Block Her Responses to State Bar From Distribution to County Enemies
|Photo illustration: Ray Stern|
Lisa Aubuchon gave up confidential information to a State Bar investigator regarding Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and she doesn't want that info leaked out.
The deputy county attorney, once the attack-wolf for Arpaio and Thomas and now the subject of a State Bar investigation, filed a special action in court recently to block distribution of her answers to questions by a Colorado lawyer assigned to the investigation.
The 39-page motion to the state Supreme Court states that Aubuchon felt compelled to answer Gleason's questions, because of State Bar rules compelling cooperation in investigations. The answers divulged attorney-client privileged information about her dealings with Thomas and Arpaio in the high-profile cases against county supervisors and judges -- the cases that got her and Thomas in trouble with the State Bar.
Sorry, folks -- none of her answers were revealed in the court filing, since that would clearly make her filing moot. But after the bombshell grand-jury transcripts that were revealed publicly thanks to Interim County Attorney Rick Romley, it's not unreasonable to think Aubuchon's answers provide more evidence of unethical behavior by her, Thomas, or Arpaio.
Back in April, Aubuchon requested a protective order that would stop Gleason from sharing her info. The court denied her request, saying it was premature because she hadn't shared the material yet. So, Aubuchon "dutifully" complied with Gleason's request and answered his questions.
Despite the direct wishes of Arpaio and Thomas that Aubuchon keep some things secret, Aubuchon told Gleason things she believed were covered under attorney-client privilege.
Records state that Aubuchon was worried Gleason might review her answers with the person who filed one of two complaints against her with the State Bar, County Manager David Smith. She also feared her answers would find their way to the people she tried to prosecute, like Supervisors Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox, and Judge Gary Donahoe. Stapley, Wilcox and Donahoe have each filed claims against the county -- which name Aubuchon, among others -- for wrongful prosecution.
Aubuchon (who, by the way, has put in her own $10 million claim against the county), simultaneously filed another request to protect the information she gave Gleason -- but that request was also denied.
In an August 16 letter to Aubuchon's lawyers, Gleason makes it clear he intends to give Aubuchon's complete responses to David Smith. He'll also discuss her responses with unspecified "others" in order to "determine whether there is an agreement on facts, interpretations or other issues, he writes.
Sounds like Stapley, et al, will know exactly what Aubuchon told Gleason -- unless the state Supreme Court agree with Aubuchon's latest request, made on August 31.
Aubuchon wants the court to rule that Smith can't see the responses at all -- or, at the least, that he given only a redacted copy of her responses, with the privileged information removed.
One thing is clear about this filing: Aubuchon's getting a lot of work out of the stable of lawyers she's hired over at Wilenchik and Bartness. Four lawyers from the firm signed the August 31 special action request. But they're not getting paid out of Aubuchon's bank account: Taxpayers fund her defense, for the time being. We hear the total bill now exceeds $200,000.
Below, we've included the 55-page document that includes the exhibits from Aubuchon's latest filing. It's more interesting reading than the filing itself, and contains most -- if not all -- of her lawyers' arguments for the filing.