Arpaio's Lawyer Tim Casey Wants Out of Racial-Profiling Case; ACLU Hopes He'll Stick Around

Ramon Charley Armendariz
Tim Casey, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's longtime lawyer, wants out of the hot-potato Melendres racial-profiling case now that it's in a "compliance phase."

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona don't want him to leave so fast, though -- not with questions and things left to discover related to corrupt deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz, who hung himself in May rather than submit to arrest.

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Legal Same-Sex Marriages in Arizona Could Take Place by Year's End Due to Ruling

Image: David Lud
Legal same-sex marriages could take place in Arizona by the end of 2014, says an attorney representing a lawsuit by same-sex partners.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to consider appeals of lower-court decisions supporting the challengers of same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia. Legal experts said that makes it less likely for bans in other states, like Arizona, to survive in the long run.

Today, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals struck down bans in Idaho and Nevada based on the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, meaning that Arizona's ban is on even shakier ground.

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Maricopa County to Appeal Jury Award in Case of Lawyer Fired for Talking to Press

Maricopa County will appeal a jury award in the case of a lawyer fired for speaking to the press, ignoring a judge's harsh criticism of the county's actions.

Maria Brandon, who worked for the county as a lawyer for more than 30 years, was fired in June 2011 after she angered county officials with a quote that appeared in an Arizona Republic article. In February, a jury awarded her $638,148. The Republic , interestingly, didn't cover the trial or verdict.

In remarkable statements made after the verdict, U.S. District Judge Frederick Martone likened the county attorney's office to a soap opera and said he felt sorry for the people who have to work there. Yet the Board voted last week to appeal the case to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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"Vindication" for Jay Dobyns, Ex-ATF Agent Who Infiltrated Hells Angels, After Court Ruling

Image: Wikipedia
Jay Dobyns
A federal judge blasted the ATF in a recently released ruling that described how the agency mistreated an Arizona ex-agent who had infiltrated the Hells Angels.

Jay Dobyns, sued the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2007 for failing to handle death threats against him following his undercover work against the notorious, legendary biker gang.

Quoting Shakespeare and comparing Dobyns' case to a Franz Kafka story, Judge Francis Allegra of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims blasted the ATF in his ruling but gave Dobyns only a fraction of the $1.7 million he'd sought.

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Florence Official's Response to Lawsuit by Filed by Former Police Detectives

New Times' special report on Florence

Florence officials continue to deny allegations of corruption and abuse of power leveled against the town by two former detectives -- Walt Hunter and Jarris Varnrobinson.

The two police officers, who worked as detectives with the Florence Police Department until they were fired in December 2012, filed a suit in U.S. District Court claiming that they were wrongfully terminated in retaliation after they made "protected disclosures ... outside of their chain of command regarding police corruption, abuse of power, and obstruction of justice committed by the FPD and FPD officers."

Jess Knudsen, the town's spokesman and assistant manager, stated in an e-mail sent to members of the media, that "claims that Mr. Hunter and Mr. Vonzombie were fired for whistleblowing or that there is corruption in the Florence Police Department are unsubstantiated, frivolous and irresponsible."

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"Truthiness" and Right to Fib About Politicians Defended in Brief to U.S. Supreme Court

A humorous brief to the U.S. Supreme Court filed last week invokes Stephen Colbert's concept of "truthiness" in a defense of the right to tell fibs about elected leaders.

Penned by lawyer Ilya Shapiro on behalf of the Cato Institute and satirist P.J. O'Rourke, the amicus brief, written to defend against an Ohio law criminalizing inaccurate political speech, was dubbed the "best ever" by the legal-minded website "Above the Law."

The oddball legal document defends lies as "a key part of political discourse," and hammers home the point with an early footnote stating that the filers, "their counsel, family members, and pets have all won the Congressional Medal of Honor."

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Maria Brandon, Fired County Lawyer, Awarded $638,147 in Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Maricopa County was ordered by a federal jury to pay $638,147 for retaliating against former county lawyer Maria Brandon after she commented to a newspaper.

See our previous article today for details on the case. The jury verdict, released minutes ago, rejects all of Brandon's claims except for two -- interference with an employment contract and violation of her First Amendment rights.

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Maria Brandon Trial: Catfight, Firing Detailed by Mark Faull, Bill Montgomery's No. 2 Man

Image: Ray Stern
Jackie Garcia, a paralegal at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, reportedly told lawyer Maria Brandon in the office, "I'll (bleep)ing kick your ass."

Did top Maricopa County officials fire Maria Brandon, a longtime county lawyer, because she appeared to side with disgraced former sheriff's official Dave Hendershott in a newspaper article?

Or, as the county says, was Brandon fired solely because she instigated a catfight with a paralegal at the office in which the paralegal threatened to kick Brandon's butt?

A federal jury of five men and three women is deciding those questions today following a week of testimony from officials including County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

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Maria Brandon Testifies on Retaliation by Ex-Bosses at Maricopa County Attorney's Office

Maria Brandon's federal wrongful-firing complaint is a messy leftover of years of infighting among Maricopa County officials.

But unlike lawsuits that have resulted in millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded settlement payouts to former county leaders and judges, this one's gone to trial.

The veteran lawyer accuses her former bosses at the County Attorney's Office of retaliating against and firing her in 2011, essentially because she was too good at her job defending Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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Tom Bullen, Ex-Marshal's Agent, Treated Lightly in Bad-Ethics Charge

A former high-ranking Arizona U.S. Marshal's agent has had a criminal ethics-violation charge against him dropped and will enter a pretrial diversion program.

The move by the government on Thursday to let Bullen off the hook with light treatment came even as Bullen continues pressing a civil lawsuit against the Marshal's Service related to the same situation.

Bullen was indicted in October 2012 for allegedly violating a federal anti-corruption law in efforts to secure a job with the same private company he was in charge of overseeing.

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