Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Morning Maricopa

Today's lessons:

Detention Officer Stoddard,
  • who for no legitimate reason took it upon himself to violate attorney client privilege by first pawing through defense attorney Joanne Cuccia's files in open court (behind her back but in full view of a judge and prosecutor who thought nothing amiss) and then copying a page he found there,
  • who lied about it at a show cause hearing, claiming that he had a duty to read all papers attorneys bring to court and that the page in its unphotocopied form seemed to pose an immediate threat to courtroom security,
  • who was found in contempt of court and ordered to apologize to Cuccia or go to jail
  • who was too honest to offer an apology he didn't mean,
that Detention Officer Stoddard, is so committed to the rule of law that he did, in fact, turn himself in at a facility run by his boss, Maricopa's own Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

But as Sheriff Joe's employee surrendered to Sheriff Joe's employees, he was promptly turned away. No room at the inn for this paragon of law enforcement. It seems there was a "clerical error" in Judge Donahoe's incarceration order. So gosh darn it, they just couldn't book him.

Stoddard's lawyer, deputy county attorney Tom Liddy, plans to have the judge fix it first thing this morning. But I'm relieved. It's good to know that Sheriff Joe runs his facility so carefully that not even the slightest technical error will be tolerated. If you're locked up in Maricopa, you know that your rights have been scrupulous honored.

Anyway, Stoddard was turned away.

Yet, and here again we see the nobility and decency and commitment to the rule of law of those who work for Sheriff Joe, he refused to leave. Liddy told him to go home, but that's not the sort of guy Stoddard is. According to Liddy, Stoddard
said, no, he wanted to stay because that’s what the judge ordered.
So he apparently found a corner and bunked down for the night. Of course, since he's a volunteer and isn't actually a prisoner, I guess he doesn't have to live like others of Arpaio's guests: wearing pink undies, eating 15 cent meals, and working on the chain gang.

Meanwhile, and also yesterday, Sheriff Joe along with Andrew Thomas, the Maricopa County Prosecutor, filed a civil complaint against the Maricopa County Supervisors, a few of the Superior Court Judges, and other officials and lay people. As ABC television in Phoenix reports,
The 19-page federal complaint filed by Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio describes "a concerted scheme to hinder the criminal investigation and prosecution of elected officials and employees of Maricopa County, Arizona and their attorneys."
Among the judges named, you'll be shocked to hear, is Gary Donahoe. You remember him, he's the judge whose order, in Stoddard's words,
puts me in a position where I must lie or go to jail.
And, as we have seen, Stoddard is a man of uncommon integrity. Jail it is. Even though the jail didn't want him.

Further developments as they happen. Or something.

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