When Andrew Thomas resigned as DA for Maricopa County last April so that he could run for Arizona attorney general, it ultimately set off a chain of events that has so exposed the practices of prosecutors in that place that Thomas and two of his ringleaders, Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander, now are facing disbarment, which in this day of the unaccountable prosecutor is an amazing thing.
Before going further, I will say that there is so much happening there, mostly bad, that I cannot cover it in this space. Furthermore, I am coming in on this story in the same way a vulture comes onto a carcass. As carrion goes, this is pretty good stuff, but as a latecomer to the utter madness that is Maricopa County "justice," I pretty much am limited to repeating what others have written.
I have written much on prosecutorial misconduct, but I must admit that I was not prepared for the brand of "justice" in the capital city of Arizona, as I figured that the city was too sophisticated and diverse to have a gang of Michael Nifongs running the show in the DA's office. Durham, North Carolina, where Nifong did his damage in the Duke Lacrosse Case, has the uneasy relationship between the city, which has a lot of relatively poor African-Americans, and Duke University, which draws a number of wealthy and white students from out of the area.
Nifong simply exploited the divide and the American mainstream media, which always tries to frame black-white issues as though it always were Birmingham in 1964 and that Reade Seligmann was the second coming of Sam Bowers. Had outside bloggers and writers not intervened in that case, it is likely that Nifong still would be the DA there today, given the complete support he had from Duke University, the Durham government, the local AND national MSM, and the local political establishment.
In the Tonya Craft case, we saw that the "justice" players in the LMJC were trying their best to play to the stereotypes that New Yorkers might have of rural Georgia justice, but I must admit that Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, and Rachel Alexander all out do Buzz Franklin, Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt, Len "The Man/Racist" Gregor and "judge" brian outhouse, and that takes a monumental effort, believe me.
So, let us just say that the Terrible Trio of Thomas, Aubuchon, and Alexander are in some hot water, as even Arizona has its limits of outright criminal behavior by those who are sworn to uphold the law. Of course, these three legal stooges did not go quietly. No, they actually hired a private investigator to tail Colorado ethics investigator John Gleason, who investigated the officials for the state Bar of Arizona.
Yes, that's right. The Arizona State Bar hired Gleason, and then the Unholy Trinity actually tried to intimidate him by having him tailed. That alone should have been grounds for recommendation of disbarment, and I doubt it earned them brownie points with the very people who will sit in judgment over them when they have their hearings in 2011.
Bar hearings are not like regular criminal court proceedings, as they are administrative in nature. That means that the "innocent until proven guilty" standard for criminal cases does not hold.
Instead, the Unholy Trinity will be facing a group of people who will be inclined to disbar them, and it is up to Thomas, Aubuchon, and Alexander to try to do the impossible: convince their judges that they really don't deserve to be stripped of their law licenses.
In my next post on this subject, I will go into the outright criminal behavior of these three miscreants and demonstrate how they helped to set a standard -- make that sub-standard -- of justice in Maricopa County that meant prison for Courtney Bisbee and many other innocents.