Andy Thomas/Lisa Aubuchon Thought Office Investigators Were Good Nazis But Were Wrong

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One of the more telling moments during fired deputy county attorney Lisa Aubuchon's remarkable testimony at yesterday's disciplinary hearing was her twisted take on office investigators Mark Stribling and Tim Cooning.
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Andrew Peyton Thomas

It came during Aubuchon's Twilight Zone-like account of what led up to the infamous direct criminal complaint that then-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas endorsed in December 2009 against Gary Donahoe.

Donahoe then was the presiding county criminal court judge and a key player in the highly publicized war between Thomas/Aubuchon and the judiciary/executive branches. (By "key player," we mean a jurist who was issuing legal rulings sometimes adverse to the Thomas cabal in the County Attorney's escalating "corruption" investigations.)

Using as a template a judicial complaint that recently had been filed by then-MCSO chief deputy David Hendershott, Thomas/Aubuchon prepared to drop some half-baked (being kind here) criminal charges against Donahoe for alleged bribery, obstruction of justice, and hindering prosecution.


Aubuchon testified under oath yesterday that the timing of the December 9, 2009, criminal complaint against Judge Donahoe was coincidental to the judge's scheduled hearing later that day to consider conflict-of-interest motions on the County Attorney's "corruption" cases against county supervisors Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox. (That hearing, alas, was canceled.)

Aubuchon's testimony, to put it mildly, did not pass the smell test, but so be it.

Here's where the MCAO investigators come in: 

Both men, Stribling and Cooning, are career cops who retired after long and distinguished careers with the Phoenix Police Department before signing on with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

They already have testified at the ongoing State Bar disciplinary hearings against Thomas, Aubuchon and former Thomas special assistant Rachel Alexander that Aubuchon asked them (Stribling, then Cooning) to deliver the "probable cause" statement against Judge Donahoe to a lower-court judge for a signature.

Both declined, telling the hearing panel that, one, neither had worked at all on the "bribery" case and felt extremely uncomfortable presenting a legal document to a judge about which they knew nothing.

Aubuchon suggested in her testimony that the MCAO investigators were reticent to get involved with the case because it involved a sitting judge and all the inevitable controversy that would ensue.

Aubuchon agreed that she was pissed at the rejection by these mere investigators.

She quickly found a pliant sheriff's detective, also with no prior knowledge of the Donahoe non-investigation, to get the "probable cause" statement signed, have a judge issue a summons ordering Donahoe to appear in court, and move the process along.

Here's the deal: 

We have known both Stribling and Cooning for many moons.

Stribling was one of the key PPD investigators in the AzScam case, a true corruption scandal down at the Arizona Legislature that broke in the early 1990s.

If anyone at the County Attorney's Office knows how to do a political corruption case better than Stribling, we don't know who it is. That he wasn't asked by Thomas/Aubuchon to "investigate" Donahoe speaks volumes. 

We know that if Stribling had investigated Judge Donahoe and found any criminal wrongdoing, he personally would have had no problem personally slapping handcuffs on the old guy in broad daylight.

That Stribling and Cooning shined off their bosses on this matter tells you all you need to know about the Donahoe "bribery" case and the dangerous elected official (Thomas) and his lead minion (Aubuchon) who did Sheriff Joe Arpaio's bidding and went for it. 

Here comes Andy. All yours, Ray Stern.

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Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

["She quickly found a pliant sheriff's detective...."]

Mr. Rubin, do you recall the name of the pliant detective?


I am of the mind that Thomas bounces between arrogant bully and little pussy kid hiding behind his mother's skirt.  When he is pinched by his own words, he gets this look on his face like he is standing naked on a cold day all turtled up.  Then he has the arrogant side that comes back almost instantly.


During testimony,Thomas comes across as one of the most arrogant people I have ever seen in my life! He refuses to take any responsibility for anything that went on in the MCAO,even when he is named as the plantiff in these lawsuits. This man needs to be disbarred along with the rest of his lackeys. Too bad called a recess just when it was getting good.


Now poor little Candy Andy says he felt intimidated by a judge,WAH WAH WAH ! What about all the citizens his corrupt ass intimidated while he was MCA ? There is way too many breaks in these proceedings !

Concerned Citizen / Taxpayer
Concerned Citizen / Taxpayer

Thomas bragged over his over 200,000 felony cases during his unsuccessful run in the GOP primary for state AG. The taxpayers will pay for decades and lifetimes for the damage their abuse of power caused. They are the ones who belong in prison for decades, especially when an ordinary person is sentenced in Arizona to 75 years for a non-violent, first offense. These innocence and wrongful conviction cases demand an outside investigation.


There ARE way too.......Starting to sound like has did Brewer


Can I get a GED if I have a High School Diploma?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

That's ok. I was thinking I might run for governor in the next election. A good friend said I would have to 'dumb down' my vocabulary first, so I spent most of last week trying to think and talk like Mrs. Brewer. I found that I am simply too smart to dumb myself down to that level.

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