Maria Brandon Testifies on Retaliation by Ex-Bosses at Maricopa County Attorney's Office
Garcia then grabbed Brandon's elbow, and Brandon pushed back, yelling.
"Jackie... was like mad, and she was like, 'I'll fucking kick your ass' and, um, I was like, oh, my God," Valerio told Ashley.
Garcia received five days' suspension without pay. Jurors presumably will hear every detail of this story in coming testimony.
Brandon claims that Liddy fired her from her $134,000-a-year job two days after the incident, furious that when it had occurred, he'd been out of the office and she complained to his boss, Doug Irish. Brandon's lawsuit states that when Liddy returned to his office "he got a call from Bill Montgomery, and Montgomery said, 'What the hell is going on down there?' Liddy was upset about the way it looked to Montgomery because he was out of the office at the time the incident occurred."
At the heart of this case is the transition that took place in the office after Thomas resigned (he would later lose his law license), Rick Romley served as interim county attorney, and Montgomery was elected. Liddy, says Brandon's lawsuit, "likened the atmosphere to the post-Civil War Reconstruction period, when there were lynchings."
Will this case end with another large payout to a plaintiff? It's different from the others -- they were all anti-Arpaio and Hendershott. Brandon comes off as something of a believer in the wrong side.
So does Montgomery. We asked him at a recent news conference whether he believed the facts as presented in a settlement agreement by County Supervisor Andy Kunasek. In the agreement, under which the county paid $123,000 of Kunasek's legal bills, Kunasek alleges Thomas and Arpaio named him in a bogus federal racketeering lawsuit "for the sole purpose of retaliation for budgeting restraints" on the pair's offices.
"I don't know the truth of that," Montgomery said.
Lastly, we have to point out that Michele Iafrate, a private attorney is representing the county. That's ironic, considering she's done more legal work on Arpaio's antics than Brandon. We know that from experience, because it was her grousing to the sheriff's office about our arguing that sparked an unwarranted criminal complaint for disorderly conduct we had to fight for about a year, until the charge was dropped.
(Our argument, by the way, had been over what we perceived as our right under Arizona law to photograph printed-out copies of emails we had requested from the Sheriff's Office. State Attorney General Tom Horne confirmed in a December legal opinion that Arizonans have the right to take pictures or electronically scan in public records at no charge.)
Brandon's trial should be interesting on several levels. Stay tuned.
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