Friday, March 12, 2010

Maricopa Hokey Pokey

Imagine, if you will, that you're Andy Thomas or Sheriff Joe, that you've done all you can this round to intimidate the County Supervisors and the judges you hate.  Imagine, further, that none of them seem to be intimidated.
Imagine that the consequence of your long and loud investigation, prosecution, and civil corruption lawsuit of every government official who's ever crossed you, none of them is behind bars.  None of them has been removed from office.  None of them is under federal investigation.
Instead, the federales are investigating you for abuse of power and corruption.  So are your own state's officials.  And your own state's Supreme Court.
Imagine that all you can see is that you're losing.  And turning into something of a laughingstock.
So you have to do something.  Regain the initiative.  Find a new strategy.  Snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.  Try a Hail Mary pass.
And so it came to pass that on the eleventh day of the third month of the year 2010, Joe 'n' Andy dismissed the civil RICO lawsuit they filed back in December against the Supervisors, the judges, and their lawyers.
Here's Sarah Fenske in New Times (stripped of its links).
This just in: Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have dismissed the lawsuit that accused county officials, judges, and their lawyers of being part of a "criminal enterprise."
The suit -- which the duo filed in December -- spared no detail in exploring Thomas' allegations that the Board of Supervisors, county judges, and their shared legal counsel at Polsinelli Shughart were racketeers, working to thwart criminal investigations into the county's new court tower and ultimately deprive Thomas of his law license.
. . . 
In their brief, one-page letter dismissing the suit, Thomas and Arpaio's lawyers say they've referred the matters in the lawsuit to the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section. Seriously. We can only imagine that the lawyers at Justice are dying to probe such matters as The Day That County Lawyers Laughed at Deputy County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon and The Threat that Thomas' Wife Might Have to Foot the Bill for His Frivolous Litigation. 'Cause, you know, this is some major, major corruption here -- a metaphor for everything that's wrong in Maricopa County!
The Arizona Republic (also stripped of links) offers this version.
The lawsuit recounted a year of legal and political battles between Thomas and Arpaio on one side and county management and the Superior Court on the other. By December, the dispute was so heated that the Arizona Supreme Court appointed a former chief justice as a "special master" arbiter.
Since then, Thomas and Arpaio have lost ruling after ruling and federal investigators are looking into their activities. The racketeering suit hung in the balance until Thursday.
At a joint news conference Thursday, a Washington, D.C., attorney representing Arpaio said he used his connections to get the Justice Department to look at the sheriff's court-tower investigation and other unspecified matters, with no promise that they would pick up the cases.
You put your left foot in,
You take your left foot out,
You put your right foot in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the hokey-pokey,
And you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about.

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