Lisa Aubuchon's Disbarment Stay Denied; "Staggering Mountain of Wrongdoing," Judge Writes

aubuchon testify 1.jpg
Lisa Aubuchon has been denied her request to hold off on her disbarment until an appeals process is exhausted.

A "staggering mountain of wrongdoing" by former county prosecutor Lisa Aubuchon was cited by a judge as one general reason to deny her request for stay of disbarment.

Aubuchon and her former boss, ex-County Attorney Andrew Thomas, were disbarred on April 10 for a series of ethical violations related to their role in discredited legal attacks on county officials, judges, and local lawyers.

Aubuchon is appealing her disbarment, which was ordered by a three-member disciplinary panel of the state Supreme Court.

She and Thomas officially will be stripped of their law licenses tomorrow, meaning they can no longer practice law.


The former deputy county attorney, who once reportedly told a sheriff's official to use "creative writing" in fashioning a bogus search warrant of county offices, has been working as a private-practice attorney since being fired in 2010. She'd asked the disciplinary panel to stay her disbarment until her appeals process could be exhausted.

In a ruling released today, Disciplinary Judge William O'Neil writes that Aubuchon is deceitful and demonstrated an "extensive pattern of unethical conduct." Letting her continue to practice law puts both the public and the legal profession at risk, says O'Neil.

Especially "inexcusable" was the way Aubuchon "sacrificed" a law enforcement officer to "cover her tracks," O'Neil writes. The judge doesn't elaborate, but it's an apparent reference to what happened when Aubuchon wanted a direct complaint filed against now-retired Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe. After senior detectives with the Sheriff's Office and County Attorney's Office refused to sign a probable-cause statement that tried to justify the felony charges against Donahoe -- because the detectives knew no investigation had taken place -- Aubuchon allowed a lower-ranking deputy to sign it, even though the deputy had no knowledge of the case.

The panel remains concerned about Aubuchon's moral "weakness."

"We decline to ignore the staggering mountain of wrongdoing that we found," O'Neil writes. Aubuchon's "bad behavior did not merely tip the scales; it overturned them."

Aubuchon will have to close up shop tomorrow and do something different. So will her former co-worker Rachel Alexander, whose license is being suspended for six months and a day.

Thomas says he's busy working on a book.



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21 comments
guest1
guest1

I am confused, I thought a temporary stay was granted. Is this author wrong?

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

Maybe Joe doesn't recall the books he never wrote or read.

Or maybe the Old Fool doesn't recall how to read....

Laine Lawless
Laine Lawless

If Aubuchon was such a "danger," then why didn't O'Neill have her work monitored while the "proceeding" (I won't call it a BAR trial) was in progress?  Why wait 4 months after the tribunal was concluded to issue a ruling?  Wasn't the public in danger all that time?  These are the questions Aubuchon's lawyer, Ed Moriarty makes in his reply to the response to the stay by the BAR's ethically-challenged John Gleason.  Bar rules and the law specify that if the attorney appeals, then the disbarment must be stayed until the appeal is adjudicated, per Rule 59.  I really hope the Supreme Court believes in following the law, since the AZ BAR thinks it can ignore the Rules of Evidence.  http://lainelawless.com/news/a...

Kpegjer94
Kpegjer94

AND ..........  noww on to Arpaio................   he was ....in  this  up to his eyeballs ............

Rvhobo195
Rvhobo195

Arpaio is soon to be sued by US Justice Department, justice is blind, slow and like a old mule with blinders on but sometimes we just have to be patient and let it take its course, one thing for sure these folks sowed evil, hate, xenophobic terrorism on Maricopa county, and all that happens to them is their just karma and I feel no pity for them not one bit!

Rvhobo195
Rvhobo195

She is going to reap what she sowed on others pain, misery, inability to earn a living as a highly paid attorney, one can say she deserves every bad inkling of karma she gets!

JesterJackson
JesterJackson

She must have really had her head up Candy Andy's ass not to realize that the truth always comes out. The cherry on top is that not only did we get the truth out there we also got justice.  I want to thank the Phoenix New Times for not being afraid to investigate and report on the people in power. In spite of the fact that they may get dragged out of their houses in the middle of the night on trumped up charges because they weren't afraid to do so.

TheRaoulDuke5000
TheRaoulDuke5000

"She and Thomas officially will be stripped of their law licenses tomorrow, meaning they can no longer practice law."
That sentence just never gets old!! And then it just gets better with

"In a ruling released today, Disciplinary Judge William O'Neil writes that Aubuchon is deceitful and demonstrated an "extensive pattern of unethical conduct." Letting her continue to practice law puts both the public and the legal profession at risk, says O'Neil."

Ohhhh sweet justice!! Sad you're so rare! 

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Andrew Peyton Thomas, Esq.

Just three letters to lose. Not worth much. Oh...the Q is worth lots of scrabble points.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I wonder if they will invite the press down and have a ceremony to turn in their bar licenses like OSB staged when MCSO turned in their 287g credentials?

Bobunf
Bobunf

That includes the current Maricopa County Attorney.  Here's an open letter I sent to him today:

Maricopa County Attorney
Bill Montgomery
301 W Jefferson St
Suite 800
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Dear Mr. Montgomery:

I was surprised and most disappointed by your May 7, 2012 response to the request by Citizens for a Better Arizona of May 3, 2012.

You must know that the reason you gave mis-states reality.  It is simply untrue that the “forum” conducted by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on January 31 provided “unfiltered information with the opportunity to ask as many questions of County leadership as” wished. The “forum” was a total sham.  No one who opposes the Sheriff, no one with even a neutral approach, was permitted to make any substantial presentation. 

In contrast Wilson and Chief Deputy Sheriff Sheridan spent about an hour describing the intimate details of auditing procedures that are supposed to ensure that the Sheriff spends money in accord with the appropriations of the Board of Supervisors.  It should be a given that the Sheriff doesn't mis-appropriate funds, and that the Board has the accounting controls in place to see that that is accomplished. Using the minutia of these procedures was a mind numbingly obvious attempt to distract and wear down the public.

No criticism of the Sheriff’s Office was offered by any of the three presenters, including yourself.  Instead, there was a wall-to-wall defense. There was no counter presentation, no presentation of any kind, by any one.  There were, and are, many issues begging for public airing, in a forum for the community and concerning problems in the Sheriff’s Office.  

Among those extremely significant issues UNIQUE to Maricopa County, there was NOTHING by:

 An elected official, current or former, any independent attorney experienced in such matters, or any other independent entity concerning the Department of Justice civil proceedings.  

 An elected official, current or former, an organization such as the ACLU, or any other independent entity about the class action Melendres case and the injunction against the Sheriff's Office. 

 An attorney such as Michael Manning or any other attorney who opposed the county in the innumerable court cases the County has lost or settled for amounts that have, and will, ultimately cost the County taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  Nothing from County Attorneys from other jurisdictions which have far better experiences in these matters than Maricopa County.

Among other significant issues, there was NOTHING by:

 Any police official or elected official, current or former, from El Mirage concerning the more than 400 grossly mishandled sex cases, mostly involving Latinos, the subject of a Pultizer prize winning newspaper series.

 Any elected official, current or former, or any attorney experienced in such matters concerning the Sheriff’s involvement in all the activities that resulted in the disbarment of Thomas and Aubuchon.  The disciplinary committee may not have specifically called attention to a violation of a matter over which you have jurisdiction, but certainly the existence of any criminal activity on the part of the Sheriff’s Office, a matter completely understood on January 31, is a matter of considerable significance in such a forum.  

To be blunt, if the Sheriff is committing crimes, federal, state or whatever, that is a matter of obvious concern to the community and a subject about which “unfiltered information” and “the opportunity to ask as many questions of County leadership as” wished are a requirement for such a forum.  Instead, we had a deafening silence, a black hole of nothingness.  

 And there was no presentation whatever from any member of the public with any of hundreds of concerns about the Sheriff.  Let alone a significant group of citizens who had insisted on such a forum, or any other group critical of the Sheriff, of which one could easily find hundreds.  
 
Your statement that the opportunity existed “to ask as many questions of County leadership as” wished, is utterly untrue.  It baffles me that you can make such a statement. Did you not notice that there was no opportunity at all for anyone from the public to say anything until after these hours of distraction and defense?  Finally members of the public were offered a chance to comment for TWO MINUTES.  Members of the Board of Supervisors made it very clear that they would not answer ANY questions, and they didn’t.  

That scene is not one of asking “as many questions” as wished except in a world of doublespeak.  Questions for two minutes, but no answers.  

Members of the Board also made it clear that they really did not appreciate hearing from the public in the least.  In many cases, members of the public were interrupted by Chairman Wilson, even before the end of the two minutes, saying, “Wrap it up” or other impatient and distracting interjections.

The whole thing was a shameful show designed to deceive and distract, and it was completely appropriate to refuse to participate in this show.  You yourself should not have participated under these reprehensible circumstances.  This event did not educate or reassure the public, it did not allow the public to be heard; but it did raise the already high level of distrust, fear and disdain.  

Maricopa County faces a set of very significant crises starting with the fact that at least a third of our community regards the Sheriff and his officers with fear, loathing and the utmost distrust while avoiding any contact to the extent at all possible. The Sheriff has the cooperation typical of a hostile army of occupation.  This is a lot more than “community agitation.”  Endless lawsuits and federal actions loom, together with hundreds of other issues in the Sheriff’s Office.

Does it not give you pause that significant elements of our community do not speak their mind in public about the Sheriff for fear of retaliation?  For fear of false arrest and jailing?  How can this be in America today?  How can it be that we fear to criticize a public official in our own country, state and county?  

You can be part of the problem or part of the solution.  Refusing to talk to significant elements of the public on what are really specious and silly grounds is not a good start.  It adds to the divisions within our community, to fear, distrust, hate and loathing.

I ask that you reconsider this position.  At the very least, I ask that you refrain from characterizing elected officials and citizens of this County as having “fallen under the siren song of community agitation.”  Name calling does not become your office.

Bob Unferth

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

I bet that Thomas' "book" is ghost-written by none other than the MCSO shurf, he won't read it and it will sell for $0.01 on amazon.com.

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

No surprise here.

I knew Judge O'Neil would deny Aubuchon's appeal.There really is a Mount Everest of evidence she and Candy Andy Thomas are corrupt and really did abuse their power in a criminal fashion.

I wonder what Judge O'Neil will say about Rachel "I need MCSO shurf hair grease for hairgel" Alexander's appeal? DENIED I hope.

Now, let's hope the feds get their asses in gear and hand up the criminal indictments. I want to see perp-walks! 

Coz
Coz

That pretty much sums up the entire County Attorneys office.

>>Aubuchon is deceitful and demonstrated an "extensive pattern of unethical conduct.

Bobunf
Bobunf

Why wait 4 months after the tribunal was concluded to issue a ruling akse Laine.

But, was not the defense entitled to issue a statement of defense?  Did they not, in Aubuchon's case, ask for an extension of the time allowed?  Was not the independent bar counsel required to issue a rebuttal?  Was it not incumbent on the Disciplinary Committee to wait on writing their 247 decision until after the defense and prosecution have submitted their documents.  How long does it take to read all this stuff and write a 247 page opinion?  
Isn't all that what we call "due process?"  Or should O'Neil have just cut to the chase and disbarred Lisa before hearing her defense statement?  Maybe before the hearing?  That was Lisa's style, was it not?  Or is that you, Lisa, writing for Laine?

Bnbk
Bnbk

Excellent letter Bobunf !  YPS's response is as expected.

Not Surprised
Not Surprised

Great letter.  If Montgomery responds, please feel free to share that with us too!

Eric Nelson745
Eric Nelson745

Maybe he'll get Jerome Corsi to help him.  Of course, it'll have to be self-published.

Bobunf
Bobunf

Laine, or Lisa, also wrote "Bar rules and the law specify that if the attorney appeals, then the disbarment must be stayed..."

Just for the record, here's what it really says, "  A respondent may seek a stay of the decision of the hearing panel by filing the request with the hearing panel. The application for stay pending appeal shall be granted subject to appropriate conditions of supervision, except when an interim suspension has been ordered or when the hearing panel, in its discretion, determines no conditions of supervision will protect the public while the appeal is pending." Note in particular the last 21 words.  Laine or Lisa, it's not nice to make stuff up.  You should have learned by now that doing so gets you disbarred.

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