Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon are Criminally Corrupt, Dishonest Conspirators and Just Plain Sucky Lawyers, Says Formal State Bar Complaint

thomas and aubuchon illus.jpg
Photo illustration: Ray Stern
Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon: The conspiracy was all theirs.
The real conspiracy was on the other side.

Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his lackey, Lisa Aubuchon, while alleging high crimes and conspiracies against county leaders, were conspiring criminally among themselves and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's minions, says a formal complaint filed by the Arizona State Bar.

Even a casual observer of the county craziness we've covered in the last two years can arrive at one stunning fact after reading the complaint we've linked below:

In complete contrast to the allegations they had made, the allegation of conspiracy by Thomas, Aubuchon, and other so-called law officers is fully supported by concrete evidence.

No wonder John Gleason, a lawyer from Colorado hired by the Arizona Supreme Court to investigate complaints about Thomas and Aubuchon, didn't hold back in his claims against the pair. They had criminally conspired against their political foes, been dishonest, reckless and incompetent, he wrote. Gleason suggested in a preliminary report on his findings in December that Thomas and Aubuchon should be disbarred.

You don't have to be a lawyer to understand the charges Gleason has made against Thomas, Aubuchon, and another allegedly corrupt lawyer who worked for Thomas, Rachel Alexander.

Pages 64 and 65, for instance, tells how Aubuchon met with Arpaio's chief deputy, David Hendershott, and several other deputies to concoct a criminal charge against a well-respected Superior Court judge, Gary Donahoe. Details of the meeting come from one of the deputies, Sergeant Brandon Luth, whose statements are fully backed up by documents, the testimony of others, and other hard evidence.

The probable-cause statement filed in court by the Sheriff's Office was essentially the same as Hendershott's judicial-conduct complaint against Donahoe. No one disputes that an investigation into the allegations against Donahoe, which ended up in a criminal complaint, never actually occurred. The fact that Aubuchon and Thomas knew they were charging someone with a serious crime despite a total lack of a criminal investigation makes Gleason's case for him:

Chief Hendershott told them to describe the "benefit" that Judge Donahoe received for his illegal conduct as the Court Tower. In other words, the bribe Judge Donahoe was receiving was a new court building.


At about 5:00 p.m. Sgt. Luth took the documents to Aubuchon. She
read them. She said that "it worked for her."

Aubuchon signed the complaint as Deputy County Attorney.

Aubuchon and Thomas knew that no criminal investigation of the
charges against Judge Donahoe had occurred.

Aubuchon and Thomas knew that there was no factual basis for the
charges against Judge Donahoe.

Aubuchon attempted to have an investigator from MCAO file the
complaint in Superior Court in the late afternoon or early evening of December 8,

No MCAO investigator involved would file the complaint because they
had not been involved in the matter.

When no MCAO investigator would sign the complaint and "walk it
through," Aubuchon turned to the sheriff's office to assist her in filing it.

Sgt. Luth refused to file the complaint against Judge Donahoe because
he did not want to answer questions by the court about the case when it was filed.

The complaint was filed in the morning of December 9, 2009. Detective
Gabriel Almanza signed it under oath.

Detective Sgt. Luth stated that he told Det. Almanza to sign it, but Det.
Almanza had not been involved in drafting the complaint and he had no knowledge
as to the truth or falsity of the complaint.

The only attorneys in MCAO involved in the drafting of the complaint
against Judge Donahoe were Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon.

donahoe gary judge.jpg
Judge Gary Donahoe

The possibility of getting to work in a shiny, new courthouse can't possibly be understood as a reasonable person's motive for committing bribery -- and the idea that it was Donahoe's motive is, on its face, ludicrous. However, Aubuchon and Thomas had a clear, demonstrable motive for charging Donahoe:


Thomas and Aubuchon wanted to file the charges against Judge
Donahoe because he had scheduled a hearing for the afternoon of December 9, 2009 regarding a Notice and Motion filed by Thomas Irvine and Edward Novak on behalf of the county. The motion sought an order prohibiting any special deputy county attorneys not approved by MCBOS from appearing before a grand jury.

As any casual observer of the county feud will recall, Thomas was livid over the suggestion that the special prosecutors he wanted to hire to investigate the Board of Supervisors and other county officials for alleged crimes would have to be approved by the Supervisors.

Gleason's complaint goes on to state:

Thomas and Aubuchon conspired with each other and with others to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate Judge Donahoe in the free exercise of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, a right or privilege secured to him by the U.S. Constitution and laws of the U.S., or they did so injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate Judge Donahoe because he had exercised his right to freedom of speech

Thomas and Aubuchon also conspired with each other and with others to
injure oppress, threaten or intimidate Judge Donahoe in the free exercise of his
constitutional right to engage in his profession and do his job as a judge.

The intent of Thomas, Aubuchon and others was to muzzle Judge
Donahoe so that he would not rule on the motion scheduled for hearing on the
afternoon of December 9, 2009.

Plain and simple language. No gobbledegook. Gleason doesn't need to beg the news media to help him explain what's going on, like Thomas had to in the news conference at which he announced the Donahoe charges.

Gleason's complaint makes a much more compelling argument for criminal behavior than anything Thomas, Aubuchon, and Sheriff Arpaio alleged against their political enemies. The State Bar's disciplinary process allows for hearings to be set on the allegations within 150 days of the filing of the formal complaint.

Complaint PDJ2011-9002[1]

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justice seeker
justice seeker

If the tainted trio of lawyers could go after anyone at the highest level they wanted to, one can only imagine how many innocent lives of ordinary people, families and children whose lives have been shredded in their "justice" system. It's time for an independent investigation into the cases they mishandled and begin to "right the wrongs" done in the name of Arizona's justice system.


Chad Snow makes a good point. Thomas and Aubuchon went after people for personal grievances without legal justification and using the full weight and power of the State of Arizona and Maricopa County in these personal attacks.

When deciding the fate of the convicted in a capital case, one factor is "Will the murderer continue to be a threat to society?" With Aubuchon and Thomas, the question in "Could this person ever be trusted as an officer of the court in the future?" I believe that the answer is NO for both of them and I agree with Chad that disbarment is the only appropriate remedy.

Chad's comments about fighting the urge to say "I told you so." are quite appropriate. Many of us out here feel that urge. Three or four years ago, I would tell people that Arpaio, Thomas, and Hendershott were all rotten and corrupt. (I am not sure if I felt that way against Aubuchon that far back.) People would look at me as if I had just abused all manner of common sense and knowledge as if I were a lunatic for even having the thought to think that Arpaio, Thomas and company were not squeaky clean.

Yes, the urge to say "I told you so." is quite strong.

The complaint attached to this entry makes it quite clear that the BoS was engaged in pushing back against Thomas and his corrupt, self-serving practices almost from the beginning of Thomas' time as County Attorney. There was also substantially more push back against Arpaio than I had further realized. Behind the scenes, this fiasco was escalating nearly every day from 2005 on.

Finally, I would challenge folks out here to provide a list of where the New Times was wrong on the various aspects of this situation as it grew and grew, gained new players (Thomas in 2005, etc.) and spiraled out of control as a corrupt and evil continuum of persons charged with law enforcement and criminal justice for Maricopa County. New Times has been called "alternative journalism," "not a real newspaper," "not credible," "fantasy land," and other demeaning names by MCSO and others. However, at least in the last 6 years, I don't believe the New Times has missed much in terms of accuracy of what they have uncovered. They may have missed pieces of this puzzle for which I believe only 20% is of the total evil is actually known by the public. However investigative journalism is just peeling back the onion and this onion still has many fascinating and disgusting layers to go through.

The other thing that leaped out of the Bar Complaint is the claim that Arpaio is credited as being the one that proffered the plan to charge Judge Donahoe to prevent the hearing. That the top lawman of the county would suggest that when there is no evidence whatsoever and then share a press release with Thomas to announce the charges should be on the local news 5 times a day for the next month. I hope that some federal action will soon be visited on Arpaio over this.


Hey, wouldn't it be the perfect irony if the Bar Association, in addition to disbarring these idiots, orders that they have to use their professional liability insurance to pay back all the claims that were generated against the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, et. al.!!!

Your Honor, I Object To This
Your Honor, I Object To This

Disbarrment is such an unsavory word... It suggests official naughtyness like corruption, abuse of authority, judicial malfeasence, mendacity, conspiracy, abridgement of Constitutional law, creating fraudulent Grand Jury indictments against officials of County office, and just plain old assholishness. But there you have the Andrew Thomas way of applying the law.Maricopa County's red-headed step-child will never again pass the Bar in Phoenix, though there a few bars in Mesa he probably won't pass up either.Hey Andy-poo, I hear there's an opening down Cuidad-Juarez, Mexico for a prosecutor.You could have your homie, Sheriff Joe, go along... he'll be out of work pretty soon himself.Steve Tracy


"Mein Kempf" Thomas as I've always called him because he is Sherrif Joe and Russell Pearce "sheep" from that barn in Kobach Kansas that just said NO NO NO Please let me GO! Oh where oh where are all those emails between Der Fuhrer Joe, Kavanaugh and Pearce. The "Sanctions" unto you emails between Brock, Der Fuhrer Joe, Thomas. Scratch my back and I will scratch your wife's friends back and keep the cover up alive! Oh where oh where are they at! Those famous MVD emails from DES, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Social Security showing the REDFLAGS of veterans returning from the field. The REDFLAGS of elderly minority women challenging their Social Security issuants dates all the while "caging" and challenging their VOTE. Oh where oh where have they gone! Yes the old MVD computers sitting in Hendershot "foreclosed" home or that State paid for gas paid for vehicle he claims on his taxes each year all the while claiming he and his wife were just BROKE. Oh where oh where are those emails from the $276,000 Hendershot for Two while in Honduras. Oh where oh where have they gone! Emails relating to raids in a State Municipality, or raids outside of your local furniture store. Oh where oh where are those emails relatitang to the $100,000,000 Arpaio bucks stolen to build and construct Arizona first Hitlerien style concentration Camp Pearce aka Section 1070 TEAM GOP Two for One immigrant Hotel, Motel, Human Economic Opportunity Holiday INN. Oh where oh where have they gone! Just stall baby stall Team GOP High? Arizona couldn't handle the truth. Archives don't lie!


it looks like Thomas and fat ass aubuchon are goimng to be wearing pink soon. Poor Lisa, she will look simply terrible in pink. she will look like miss pigg\y with a breifcase

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

I don't wish disbarrment on anyone, but in this case I'll make an exception. Thomas and Aubuchon were so reckless in their disregard for the truth and reputations of the people they went after, nothing less than taking away their licenses would suffice.

I'm fighting the urge to write a lot of people and say "I told you so."


Your exactly right, and the first thing they need to make right is the Courtney Bisbee case, how is it that so many people know of her innocence yet in prison she sits?? If it wasn't for her family being so outspoken in their fight for justice she would possibly never get the justice she deserves, how many more innocent lives have they destroyed that we don't know about? If there is a hell, believe me ANDREW THOMAS, its created for people LIKE YOU!!!


Your are exactly right. Many people have pleaded to some low grade felony that they might possibly have committed to get rid of a ton of other bogus charges that were ruinous to family to defend.

The case files at MCAO are littered with abuses that never made the news. Granted, MCAO has a number of talented career prosecutors that are ethical and carry robust integrity. But when the head of the fish stinks as Thomas did, one has to examine the entire fish to see just what is spoiled.


these bullies would rather hunt down corn vendors, mothers and their children then deal with the real criminals. they do belong in Cuidad-Juarez. See how long they'd last.


Thanks for putting it all together. Great public service. There's so much more...


Lots of people have suffered in the meantime!


Chad, we don't normally like to take away a persons means of making a living; however, Thomas, Aubuchon, and to a lesser extent Alexander, have worked very hard at it; they've earned it.


The trio of tainted attorneys needs to be gone yesterday!

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