Former Maricopa County attorney, Andrew Thomas (pic), pursued prosecutions and lawsuits against the political opponents of his boss, um, Sheriff Joe Arpaio (pic), that senior prosecutors in his office said were worthy to have been written on toilet paper according to emails and memos obtained by the Arizona Republic. Arpaio (America's toughest Sheriff) and his Boy Andy are currently under federal and state investigation following a reign of Stalinist terror targeting local public officials and judges--which certain Tea Party activists profess to want to take national, if Arpaio's popularity on the campaign circuits of various states is any indication. Here's a short excerpt from Yvonne Wingett and Michael Kiefer's story at AZCentral, this AM:
"Top prosecutors in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office had repeatedly cautioned Andrew Thomas over the last year and a half against filing criminal charges and a racketeering suit against judges and county officials. But according to detailed interviews and e-mails gathered for an administrative investigation of a prosecutor at the center of those cases, Thomas ignored the advice and instead bypassed experienced prosecutors to assign the cases to attorneys who would prosecute them.
Lawyers in and out of the County Attorney's Office told Thomas that he did not have sufficient evidence. One prosecutor later said he was shocked the agency had filed a complaint against a judge. Another told Thomas the racketeering suit was so bad, it should have been written on toilet paper. Supervising prosecutors warned Thomas that lawyers he assigned to handle the cases were too inexperienced.
Thomas pursued the cases in spite of the warnings; all were later withdrawn or dismissed."
There are so many facets to this incredible tale of public abuse and private profiteering. The story has been continuously featured on Bad Lawyer since the inception (read the archives) of the blawg--but, truth be told I have barely scratched the service of the sickness and depravity of these so-called "public officials."
If you ever wondered if the satirical and prophetic cautionary notes of Orwell in Animal Farm and 1984 were overblown, witness Maricopa County, Arizona. Arizona is just one of the places in the US where this sort of wholesale abuse of power and corruption in the name of "law and order," is taking place. Thomas and Arpaio proved that you could rarely disappoint the voters by oppressing the dispossessed and immigrant classes. Arpaio and Thomas got away with discarding individual constitutional rights, spending the tax payers' dime like drunken sailors on all manner of toys, travel and armament--but, they stepped over the line with the frivolous indictments and federal racketeering lawsuits of other elected public officials and Maricopa County judges.
As I said when Thomas filed the RICO lawsuit, ill-advisedly--Thomas and Arpaio's days are numbered. You don't file frivolous lawsuits in federal court and rationally expect that you will get away unscathed. The RICO action was summarily dismissed. The arrogance of Arpaio and Thomas has proven to be their downfall. Thomas lost his bid to win the Republican nomination for Arizona Attorney General to a Republican lawyer who was barred from the securites industry for ethics violations. How bad must the voters think you are--to choose your opponent with this kind of history over you?