Lawsuits by County Officials Vs. County Move to Federal Court

 

wilcox and stapley 0917.jpg
Image: Ray Stern
Maricopa County Supervisors Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox.
​A $10 million lawsuit filed by Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley last Thursday against the county will likely end up in federal court.

Lawsuits alleging abuse of power, defamation, civil rights violations and other injustices by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas that were filed by Stapley's executive assistant, Susan Schuerman and Sandi Wilson, deputy county manager, and Judge Gary Donahoe were removed from Superior Court to U.S. District Court last week.

Millions of dollars in claims -- and now, lawsuits -- against the county were launched following a two-year attack by Arpaio, Thomas and their minions as part of a thoroughly discredited "anti-corruption" effort.

As readers of this blog know, efforts to prosecute Stapley, Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, Donahoe and investigate others for a poorly conceived conspiracy theory failed miserably, leaving the county and politicans like Arpaio and Thomas wide open to such claims.

     

Last month, three of the five county supervisors voted to approve a $10 million, three-year deal to hire several lawyers to defend the county against claims by county employees, former employees and elected officials. Stapley and Wilcox abstained from voting.

Plans to hire famed mediator Kenneth Feinberg to negotiate settlements fell through in October.

"The cases are going through the traditional court system," says Cari Gerchick, spokeswoman for the county. 

Each lawyer the county hired in November is responsible for specific defendants. It's unclear to our simple brain which side benefits from the move to federal court, but it's the lawyers for the defendants pushing the issue.

Daryl Audilett has been Arpaio's assigned counsel in the cases since then, and he and the other hired guns filed motions to move the Shuerman, Wilson and Donahoe cases to federal court. The lawyer hired to represent the county as a whole, Steven LaMar, says he fully expects the new Stapley lawsuit to end up in front of a federal judge, too. (Which judge, though, isn't known yet, and the Shuerman, Wilson and Donahoe cases were all assigned to different judges.)

All of the lawsuits so far have alleged violations of both state and federal statutes.

"When there are federal claims asserted, it's pretty common practice to remove the claims to federal court," Audilett says.

Audilett, a Tucson lawyer, says one of his specialties for the past 25 years has been defending law enforcement officials. He said he wasn't sure if Arpaio had approved him. Calls to Lisa Allen, Arpaio's spokeswoman, weren't immediately returned.

 


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7 comments
Anon
Anon

arpaio/thomas/aubuchon/alexander and their enablers have abused the taxpayers and citizens of Arizona! Arizona will be paying for the damage their created for years!

Coz
Coz

Man, Maricopa County, as dysfunctional as it gets.No wonder this place is being flushed down the toilet.

XSoldier
XSoldier

Question 1: Are ALL the notices of claim lawsuits now?

I would think all the lawsuits are being moved because the Superior Court has a conflict of interest (4 of the claimants being judges, one of them now in the civil department)

I wonder why Maricopa County's greasy-haired, balloon-headed "lawman" (if you can call him that) and his mentally unstable right nut want the cases heard in federal court. Maybe it's because the Old Balloon Head and Candy feel "intimidated" by the Superior Court.

Chad Snow: Hitler's men tried to kill him while in his Fuhrerbunker. That ain't the case here. Fat Bastard, Fox and the rest of the Flaccid Fool's slimy, greasy minions want to protect the Old Fool. They are as mentally ill as the Old Saggy Scrotum himself.

All the claimants have fantastic cases. I predict that the federal judges will reimburse legal fees + damages, interest, and penalties.

I wonder when the DOJ will hand up those indictments agianst the Old Fart & Co?

NT, keep us informed!

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Ray, did you try reaching Arpaio and his "mistress" Lisa Allen in their Fuhrerbunker? That's where all megalomaniacal fascist dictators go when they are completely encircled by liberating forces and facing certain doom.

Anon
Anon

arpaio/thomas/aubuchon/alexander and their enablers have abused the taxpayers and citizens of Arizona! Arizona will be paying for the damage THEY created for years!

Boosting Immunity
Boosting Immunity

The worst thing is we loose if Joe looses since the taxpayers are the one that are going to be paying the bill. Seriously when is someone going to start making Joe pay for his own crap.

Oh and answer to your question yes they are all lawsuits now and they all waited till over the election as well and the main reason to move them to federal court is the civil rights abuses but it is in the advantage of Joe since it buys more time to settle out of court.

No lawyer in their right mind would see the windfall of evidence proving the claims thus far and actually want to try and win. This is just a stall tactic so they can work on a settlement.

In the end even if Joe looses we will pay the price.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Somewhere, these is this fat man in in black cape and helmet saying "Joe, I am your father. Darth-Blimp"

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