Lisa Aubuchon, Fired Prosecutor Under Investigation, Sets Up Shop in Tempe; Talks About Munnell Memo
After hearing that Lisa Aubuchon had hung up a shingle on the Internet, advertising her services as a lawyer in Tempe, we gave the former prosecutor a call.
Despite all the grief we've given the fired Maricopa deputy county attorney about her losing ways, including a recent zinger about her Internet defender-- a nameless blogger, naturally -- Aubuchon proves to be quite pleasant and chatty.
"I'm opening up a small office," she says. "I'm trying to survive after all of this stuff happened."
Aubuchon doesn't hang up at the questions we threw at her. Unfortunately, she also doesn't provide satisfying answers.
Most of what she says has to be taken with a grain of salt -- a courthouse-tower-sized one.
She doesn't come close to dissing her former boss, failed state Attorney General candidate Andrew Thomas, or Sheriff Joe Arpaio's right-hand man, Chief Deputy David Hendershott. We're not sure why she won't toss them under the steamroller, though. Aubuchon's under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and State Bar for alleged abuse of power and ethical violations. Isn't it time to stop the charade?
Guess not. As would be expected, Aubuchon seems like an unapologetic Kool-Aid drinker.
Her take on the now-infamous Munnell allegations:
"I don't believe anything he's written in that memo," she sniffs.
Aubuchon shed nothing but darkness on her guest appearances in the 63-page memo by Maricopa Sheriff's Office deputy chief Frank Munnell.
Munnell claims that Aubuchon urged detectives to use "creative writing" in order to justify a raid of the Board of Supervisors' offices. (The planned raid was canceled.) A lieutenant at the meeting subsequently admonished his subordinates that anyone who used "creative writing" in the planned search warrant would be fired, Munnell wrote.
"I don't remember saying that," she says, quickly following with a waffle: "And if I did, it isn't as he made it sound."
She suddenly turns into Bill Clinton: "There are a lot of different definitions to 'creative writing.'"
If the phrase "creative writing" came out of her mouth, Aubuchon goes on to say, it didn't mean "fiction."
"I never asked anybody to fabricate any evidence," she says, adding that she had no idea -- until the memo -- that the lieutenant had threatened to fire anyone who did what she had told them to do.
"It shows his lack of understanding," Aubuchon says of the lieutenant.
Can you believe this woman?
Munnell also claims that Aubuchon also advised deputies that, no matter what happened with the investigation, Supervisor Don Stapley would be "tried in the media."
Aubuchon flat-out denies making the statement.
We also ask Aubuchon about Supervisor Andy Kunasek's allegation that she tried to "extort" him earlier this year. Kunasek's charge is that Aubuchon, in cahoots with Thomas and Arpaio, had Kunasek investigated on a false premise in order to pressure him into a deal on who would replace Thomas -- who'd resigned to run for AG -- as county attorney.
"He totally defamed me," she says of Kunasek. (She's seeking $10 million from the county, by the way).
Here, she thanks New Times for pointing out in the above-linked article that Kunasek would only share one page of a transcript from his talk with Aubuchon.
But what a page! In it, Aubuchon sure seems to be offering a deal.
She says her words are being taken out of context.
"He won't give (the whole transcript) to you because he knows that's not what happened," she says. "There was absolutely no extortion."
It's hard to trust her, obviously. Why in the heck would a prosecutor talk to a "suspect" about his alleged crime -- and in the same conversation, bring up his important role in choosing the next county attorney?
"The issues just came up," she answers. "The talk of selection -- it flowed appropriately. If you had the transcript, you'd see that."
Uh-huh. We'll see.
We led Aubuchon down memory lane, chatting about Judge Gary Donahoe, the evidence-free RICO lawsuit, the pending investigations into Stapley and Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, the grand jury's "end of inquiry" vote on the courthouse tower and Kunasek investigations. She doesn't add anything new to those stories.
But we imagine we'll hear more -- much more -- when the investigations into Aubuchon's actions are complete.In the meantime -- need a lawyer?