Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "Unholy Collaboration" Abused Justice -- Yet Arpaio's Skating Toward Re-Election

arpaio and thomas 3.JPG
Image: Ray Stern
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas apparently had an "unholy collaboration" that led to Thomas' disbarment.
If the state Supreme Court had a disciplinary panel for sheriffs, Joe Arpaio would in all likelihood be stripped of his ability to practice law enforcement.

Yet Arpaio continues to skate toward potential re-election despite his role in many of the same actions that got his former ally, ex-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, disbarred today.

Justice could still take place for Arpaio in the form of a criminal indictment from the U.S. Department of Justice, which  for more than three years has been looking at alleged civil rights violations by Arpaio that include the claims of abuse-of-power addressed today in regard to Thomas.

There was an "unholy collaboration" between Arpaio and Thomas in their unethical fight against political enemies in the county, the state Supreme Court's disciplinary panel wrote in the opinion released today.

As far as Thomas and his former underlings are concerned, the evidence against them "speaks for itself" in terms of an apparent collaboration, the panel says. Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, and Rachel Alexander never looked for evidence that might have stemmed from the investigations conducted by Arpaio's office, "because they always knew there was none," the panel concluded.

 

Aubuchon testified that she would casually sit in the office of Arpaio's former chief deputy, Dave Hendershott, "some evenings" to talk about the tactics in the county fight -- and Arpaio was there -- the panel wrote.

Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O'Neil, attorney Mark Sifferman, and the Reverend John Hall note somberly in their findings, "The Sheriff is not subject to the Professional Rules of Conduct for attorneys."

Arpaio is, however, subject to the whims of voters. It remains to be seen how seriously county residents will consider the evidence of Arpaio's corruption that surfaced in the case against Thomas, Aubuchon, and Alexander.

In 2009, for example, Arpaio and his chief deputy ended up "closing their eyes" to the Constitutional rights of Supervisor Don Stapley, the panelists wrote. Despite having no convincing evidence of a crime committed by Stapley and having been warned by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk that the case wasn't ready, Arpaio ordered the arrest anyway.

When confronted later about the blatantly unethical act by Polk, Arpaio "exploded," the panelists noted.

They wrote that the "fake court-tower investigation," launched under Arpaio's direction, was "subterfuge from the beginning."

As with much of the apparent corruption committed by Arpaio's office, the sheriff cries that he was "duped" by Chief Deputy Hendershott. The evidence, however, shows that Arpaio wasn't really duped.

Under Arpaio's leadership, sheriff's deputies were used like a personal goon squad to intimidate county employees. The panelists wrote:


The testimony regarding the purported Court Tower investigation, which involved entering the sanctity of the homes of large numbers of county employees, often on weekends, was surreal. The evidence was that officers, often late at night, with surreptitiously hidden recorders, demanded to enter the homes of these individual employees to interrogate them.


On Page 21, the panelists wrote that while the actions from Arpaio's office became "increasingly questionable," Thomas failed in his duty to provide some check and balance.

In December 2009, Arpaio stood next to Thomas at a news conference and announced that they were filing a federal racketeering lawsuit against county officials, judges, and lawyers. As we noted then, the lawsuit was full of flaws and presented poor evidence.

The disciplinary panel summed up the devious scheme in today's opinion:



With the RICO action Mr. Thomas, Ms. Aubuchon and Ms. Alexander abused their power and authority as County officers. They filed and prosecuted the action in retaliation against the defendants, not based upon any alleged criminal activity, but rather based upon the defendants' exercise of lawful authority that frustrated and infuriated Mr. Thomas and Sheriff Arpaio.


If Thomas, Aubuchon, and Alexander abused their power with this action, so did Arpaio.

Of course, the damning portrait of a corrupt sheriff binding himself to a corrupt prosecutor can't be completed just by looking at his scandals with Thomas. Arpaio has numerous scandals of own for the public to consider before the election, including potential campaign crimes and what the Justice Department calls the worst case of racial profiling U.S. history.

Without Arpaio's unhealthy influence, Thomas might still be a lawyer today.


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29 comments
Mandymarie
Mandymarie

From the Bible book of Esther, Haman was hung on his own gallows.  I wouldn't mind seeing the same here.

Also re: Adam Walsh Act please read USA Today Monday 4/23/2012 " Feds want tighter predator leash"   ...." The Justice Dept is asking federal courts to let it cast a wider net in its effor to indefinitely lock up accused sexual predators, urging judges to detain men who have never been convicted of sexual assaults"   and   " In another case last month, the department convinced a federal judge that alcohol dependence and drug abuse are illneses serious enough to justify civil commitment."  Add to that that there are contracts on the Governor's desk about selling all of AZ's prisons to CCA.

IMO: They want to criminalize every trivial thing and lock you up indefinitely on a suspicion of a crime.

Ans: Adam Walsh Act is unconstitutional by Commerce Clause and 13th Amendment (involuntary servitude) The 13 Amendment gave Congress the authority to enforce it and they did with a US Code that make it a crime to commit involuntary servitude and ANYONE who receives a profit or benefit is guilty punishable by 25 yrs in prison. That would include shareholders of CCA stock.

Seems to me that the prisons Haman is building might house him when this all turns around.

DNichols
DNichols

Many Arizona Politicians seem to believe if the majority of them are also Corrupt,binding themselves to a Corrupt Sheriff  that it will "White Wash" Arpaio's Vast, and Obvious Racial Profilings, Human Rights Abuses, and Abuses of Authority and Tax Payers Funds.

I say it just makes more People Corrupt.

To: Justice for All.

Clean up the "Arizona Cesspool."

Horus45
Horus45

They wrote that the "fake court-tower investigation," launched under Arpaio's direction, was "subterfuge from the beginning."
Just like Arpaio's fake investigation of President Obama's Birth Certificate.
Not a shred of truth to it!

Kansan
Kansan

Arpaio has always labored to make himself a hero to the extreme right
wing, maintaining a relationship even with neo-Nazis who joined him in
his fight against Hispanics.

More recently, he has spent county
funds to pursue this "birther" agenda, a cause that has been found
groundless in case after vexatious case across the U.S.

One of
the most disturbing aspects of this case is the findings of the bar that
Thomas and his attorney Lisa Aubuchon, conspired with Arpaio to put the
county government into receivership in their quest to bring false
changes intended to destroy their perceived enemies on the Board of
Supervisors and the bench.

From the opinion: Section 250.

"Very
troubling is the evidence that the RICO Act (civil) Lawsuit was filed
(against their targets) with the hope that the County would be placed
into receivership, which would burden the County by preventing the
existing government from being able to run the County."

Coz
Coz

Arpaio needs to be in prison, period.

Car_del99
Car_del99

Andy followed a TURD , and ended in the toilet

Kansan
Kansan

It's simply amazing that Sheriff Joe can continue to conduct himself like a tin pot, third world dictator, disregarding any respect for the law, conspiring to fix cases that contain no merit whatsoever against his real or imagined political enemies, costing the county untold tens of millions, but still is likely to be relected once again.

It says very little for the voters of Maricopa County.

Horus45
Horus45

"conduct himself like a tin pot"

????

Kansan
Kansan

 The expression is "tin pot dictator." A third rate absolutist ruler.

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

Arpaio is skating alright, but it's not towards reelection. 

VIMIIS
VIMIIS

Arpaio is in way over his head.  He was involved with everything Thomas did right from the beginning.  But when Arpaio testified in court he conveniently couldn't remember or recall anything.  He more or less threw Thomas under the bus.  Well, Arpaio better be good and scared now.  The Feds are  were in court this morning and I am sure they have read all the charges including Arpaio's involvement.  It will take some time, but Arpaio will get run over by the wheels of justice as well...............................

Coz
Coz

Lets hope Thomas wises up and see's Arpaio for the snake he is and rolls on him now with the Feds.

Guest23
Guest23

Well, considering that thomas still thinks this has all been an huge conspiracy against him, which i believe he truley believes, that he is a victim, it is how wimps like this work, utilize whatever it takes to relaize your own schemes of power even if it doesnt mesh with reality and roll over anyone that questions how you perceive reality.

DNichols
DNichols

If  Bloggy was Governor of Arizona he would have never even gone to trial.

He only tried to get Fraudulent Money.

Jan Brewer actually Defrauded Social Security for $75,000.00 reward for her knife point Rapist Son Ron as he served out his sentence, already costing the Tax Payers $601.00/Day for years.

Russell Pearce, his Brother, Two Neices, a Tea Party Oficial,and Mrs. Cortez the "Ringer/Sham" Candidate in Pearces Recall Election all should have been charged with the class five Felony of Electoral Rigging/Manipulating.

Pearce should be running for "Inmate of the month."

Lets not forget the Fiesta Bowl Dirty Thirty Arizona Legislators/Bribe takers.
Bill Montgomery says: "They all probably Broke the Law, however he won't charge them because the Statues are too Vague".

The Statues are never too vague for poor People?

To: The Arizona Political Cesspool.

Arpaio is just one of the Larger Corrupt Turds still floating around. 

Rollem45
Rollem45

He is sounding like Rob Bagolavich shortly before heading off to federal prison.

Wasillawitch
Wasillawitch

I wonder if Arpaio is going to attend and stand behind Thomas at Thomas' press conference tomorrow?

Triple-6 Gun Mane
Triple-6 Gun Mane

Most likely. He can't pass up the opportunity if it involves the local media with cameras. The Flaccid Fool loves it when the cameras are shoved in his trite face.

Clarity
Clarity

Yeah, just like he did when his corrupt court officer stole those papers from the defense attorneys folder in open court! Arpaio was right there to support this illegal, corrupt, criminal and unconstitutional act.

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

That action is what triggered the MCSO shurf to charge Judge Donahoe with the 3 felonies.

Arpaio's motive was Donahoe's citing the MCSO DO for contempt of court, as well as Donahoe's attempt at forcing the Flaccid Fool to comply with state law.

Thomas' motive to charge the judge was the rulings adverse to him. If Thomas disagreed with the court's findings, he should've gone to the appellate court. 

The Real David saint
The Real David saint

I really hope the Feds now push forward against joe...they should have ample evidence by now..only question is, will Obama risk losing a state he will probably lose anyways to go forward...

Vicki
Vicki

I've always thought that the DOJ would wait for Joe's election to come up to see if
he loses and save all a tremendous about of taxpayer money, a win win.

Wasillawitch
Wasillawitch

I've always though the DOJ was waiting for the disbarrment process to complete first, and that they would then proceed with the criminal cases.  We'll know soon enough!

MarkusGarvey
MarkusGarvey

I'm beginning to think that the voters of Maricopa county are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. This guy is like a dictator, and seems to do as he pleases, and still get reelected. I question his mental competency as well, with this birth certificate investigation he's initiated. He's misappropriating public funds. I hope Joe likes green Bologna and pink underwear. Poetic justice for Joe! Too bad he will have to be in protective custody...he wont be able to live in those wonderful tents in the 300 degree heat.

Clarity
Clarity

Arpaio is a domestic terrorist. 
 "I solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." 

Arpaio is a domestic enemy, and a seditious one at that, because he attacks the sitting President of the United States in an attempt to divert from his own malicious and terrorist
acts!

Anon
Anon

Clarity, You're spot-on!

Wasillawitch
Wasillawitch

Coming soon...state and federal criminal charges as well as a vote of no confidence against Arpaio by the Maricopa County citizens.

TOM
TOM

Arpaio should be shaking in his depends right about now.

Johnny Skee Mask
Johnny Skee Mask

Sheriff Arcorrupto's day will come. It's only a matter of when, a matter of time. As much as I hate the waiting period, the snail process. I'll just presumed they are waiting for the perfect timing to smack Sheriff Foe with KKKriminal indictments.

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