Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maricopa Blues

They tell you to keep your eyes open. Blink and you never know what you'll miss.

So I took a couple of days off from Sheriff Joe and the Phoenicians and, gee. Who'd a thought Joe and the gang would find new people to intimidate and new agencies to investigate? Not that they'd be unwilling or anything, but you might think they'd be running out of targets.

Oh you can be so naive.

There is, for instance, the Arizona State Bar Association. What? Huh? The Arizona State Bar Association? And there's Colin Campbell. Who?

We'll start with Campbell. He's attorney for Mary Rose Wilcox. She's one of the Maricopa County Supervisors who's under indictment charged with being opposed to Joe corrupt in all sorts of ways and conspiring in her corruptitude with other prominent, albeit anti-Joe corrupt Phoenicians.  Campbell, it appears, understands that when you represent someone charged with a crime, you're supposed to actually investigate and defend.

Bad boy.  Can't have that.

Then there's the Arizona State Bar Association.  The ASBA licenses all Arizona attorneys.  County Attorney Andy Thomas, Joe's poodle, is an Arizona attorney.  Joe protects his own (Detention Officer Stoddard, for instance).  And brave Phoenician Lawyer Jim Belanger has called a rally for Monday to demand that Thomas have his license yanked. Now, the thing about intimidation is that it's best used before there's a problem. Make 'em back down before they act. The gelatinous spine never causes trouble. It's the backbone that's a problem.

So it really shouldn't have come as a surprise when Campbell got a letter Tuesday afternoon demanding that he report for interrogation to the Sheriff's office by 5 p.m. Wednesday.  The ostensible purpose of the questioning was "to clarify information related to a current criminal investigation related to five subjects.
  1. Efforts to file ethics complaints with the ASBA against Andy Thomas.
  2. Discussions with the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court Barbara Mundell (you know, the one who obtained an order from the court of appeals prohibiting Joe from executing a search warrant, should he ever get one, on her home or chambers) about anything having to do with any case brought by or connected to Joe or Andy.
  3. Discussions with another of the Superior Court judges, Anna Baca, about the same range of things.
  4. Involvement with the Maricopa County Criminal Court Tower, the construction of which has been a subject of repeated charges and counter-charges between Joe/Andy and all the alleged corrupticons.
  5. Discussions with the MCCC Tower.  (I assume that was supposed to be discussions about the Tower, but you never know.)

See, the Bar Association thing is just weird, but the others are all connected to Campbell's client, Mary Rose Wilcox.

So Campbell did what happens pretty much daily in Maricopaville.  He went to court to get an order shutting down Joe.  Here's the pointedly captioned Motion To Enjoin County Attorney And Sheriff From Harassing Defendant's Counsel And Interfering With Defendant's Right to Counsel of Choice.

At Heat City, Nick Martin discussed Campbell's motion
In a filing with the court, Campbell said he finds the sheriff’s request “unheard of and unethical” because he is also the defense attorney for Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, who was indicted by Thomas last week on charges of fraud. Campbell said the questions would infringe on his attorney-client relationship with Wilcox.

“The letter and its request for an interview…represent nothing short of total disregard for the right to counsel,” Campbell said.
Yeah, I'd say that's right.  But what do you expect from these guys?

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Business Journal reports that DOJ has set up a special Maricopa County phone line.  Dawn Teo, writing in the Huffington Post on Saturday, gave more information.
When connecting to the DOJ's Arpaio tip line, it says, "You have reached the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigation line." Then it prompts the listener to choose between English and Spanish. By lunchtime Wednesday, both the English and Spanish mailboxes were full. They have been full throughout the week and are still full as of Saturday morning. The toll free number for the tip line is 877-613-2137.
(I was going to omit that last sentence, the one with the phone number, but I figured that maybe someone from Phoenician would read this and give a call.)

Finally, the Phoenix CBS-TV station, KPHO, has a Sheriff Joe blog doing quick hits on all the latest news and what mainstream media attention there has been.  More important is this nearly 10 minute report from Octobe 30 on Joe and his antics.  Key are the comments of David Iglesias, former U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, who says that there's enough dirt on Joe that he should clearly be indicted.

Is anyone from DOJ listening?

Special thanks to Bobby G. Frederick at the South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog for tracking so much of this stuff.  Also to NF, SF, and SW for providing links.

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