Friday, January 8, 2010

You really can't ever blink.

While I've spent the last few days focused on the murder of my former client by the state of Ohio, things have been hopping in Maricopa County where the Arizona Republic reported that Sheriff Joe admitted in a deposition that he hasn't read the book he wrote. When read specific passages from his book, Joe said that he disagreed with them. It might seem an unusual approach to authorship, but Joe thinks it's not.
Everybody that writes books don't agree with what is in the book.
And some people who write them can actually string words together into a grammatical English sentence, but maybe I'm just being catty.

Anyway, two notes:

First, from the enterprising Nick Martin at Heat City came word that at least one of the Sheriff Joe/Andy Thomas efforts to go after those they don't like may be blowing up on them.

You'll recall that Thomas/Joe brought criminal charges against Maricopa County Superior Court's presiding Judge Gary Donahoe. Donahoe asked the Arizona Supreme Court to dismiss the case, arguing that Thomas charged him
with criminal activity because the judge had ruled against him.
While the Arizona Supreme Court mulls that over (decision due in March), Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch assigned the criminal case itself to Judge William O'Neil of Pinal County. And O'Neill ordered a stay. According to the Republic,
"Justice is not just a matter of law, it's also a matter of judgment," Pinal County Judge William O'Neil said. "People always have concern when branches of government clash."

And although O'Neil said he did not want to comment on the merits of the case, he felt that the motion before the Supreme Court had a likelihood of success, one of the criteria a judge must consider in granting a stay, which in effect, is a postponement until a higher court rules on a matter of law.

To call this unusual is an understatement. But then, little that happens in Maricopa these days is exactly usual. The Maricopa quotidian is simply different from the ordinary elsewhere.

Second, in a story that's now making the rounds, having started on TV and gotten picked up by Nick, by the Feathered Bastard, by the Republic, and even by AP, it turns out that maybe Dennis Burke is ready to assume the mantle of Elliot Ness. At least two of Maricopa's key appointed officials have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury looking into what some unidentified witness referred to as Sheriff Joe's "reign of terror."

So maybe, just maybe.

Of course, as Mark Bennett observes,
The nutjob semiliterate pseuodpatriot supporters of Sheriff Joe will no doubt see this as more evidence of a vast (Mexican?) conspiracy—when you believe in a conspiracy, everything is evidence of the conspiracy.
Another group of Joe's supporters, the merely scared, may fear as they worry about what might hamper Joe's providing them with a sense, however misguided, of security and safety.

For the rest of us, it's about damned time.

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