Charges Against Rachel Alexander Are Bogus & Embarrass Arizona Legal Community


By David Roney (originally posted on Lighthouse Blog)

Former Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Alexander faces disciplinary action for following orders from her boss, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Whether or not you agree or disagree with Thomas’ office’s allegations against some of the county supervisors is irrelevant. The issue here is what appears to be nothing short of a political assassination of a dedicated employee and public servant in Alexander. Others who also worked on the racketeering suit have had no such allegations made against them, interestingly.

According the the Arizona Republic, “Alexander is charged with seven ethical violations stemming from her work on the racketeering suit. Charges include using means to burden or embarrass, filing and asserting a frivolous proceeding, and disobeying an obligation under the rules of a tribunal.”

Most of the above ethics charges stem from Alexander following orders from her boss. As a Maricopa County Attorney’s Office employee, anyone would and should feel comfortable that their boss, the duly elected County Attorney, was following the law, and that what he was directing his employee to do was legal. He was the county’s highest ranking lawyer, after all. So of course, if one is asked to file paperwork and pursue a case, an employee would do so, even if she objected. It was her job.

Alexander is being charged, despite a long, unblemished record at MCAO, solely for her role working on the RICO case. What was her role? She worked under her supervisor Pete Spaw’s direction. Shaw was an experienced RICO attorney who, according to my sources, started the drafts of the pleadings, finalized the drafts of the pleadings with Andrew Thomas, and developed the key theories in them. He exclusively dealt with opposing counsel, and filed all of the pleadings electronically. Alexander’s role consisted of mostly research for the pleadings, and taking direction from Spaw, nothing further. Yet Spaw was not charged by the Bar, only Alexander.

The “filing, asserting, & disobeying an obligation” charges are mostly just there for the purpose of piling on. The real issue here is the allegation that Alexander sought to burden and embarrass county supervisors. The allegation is nothing short of hilarious on its face, if anyone has ever heard or read a statement from Mary Rose Wilcox, or followed the Brock sex-scandal case, or followed the new court house boondoggle. The supervisors, with a few exceptions, have done a pretty good job of bringing poor press and embarrassment upon themselves. And they did so all without the help of Alexander.

But digging deeper, the charges against Alexander reek of fulfilling a vendetta for running a political blog, and a conservative one at that. Most of their unfettered discontent comes from blog posts they attribute to Alexander, that she in fact did not write. The Arizona State Bar is anything but a right-leaning organization, and it appears to seek to censor a person with whom they disagree, while leaving others untouched.

As Alexander’s attorney, Scott Zwillinger, says, “She was simply one lawyer of several assigned to a controversial matter, but unfortunately for her, she is the one now fighting for her career.”

Alexander will hopefully prevail in this matter, but the tragedy will remain that the Arizona State Bar used it’s power to try to silence a grass-roots activist with whom they have political disagreements. Arizona is not being served well in this, and its legal community is being embarrassed. And, of course, political blogging isn’t going anywhere…

And in case you’re wondering, here is Interrogatory that specifically targets Rachel Alexander for blogging.


Comments

  1. Meanwhile, where the hell is Peter Spaw???

  2. Can anyone show any direct evidence that she has been specifically targeted BECAUSE she was a blogger? All you have put forward are the fact that she was and is a blogger and the fact that her boss has not been brought up on charges before the bar. You don’t have anything other than speculation, conjecture and innuendo connecting those two facts together or connecting either of those facts to the decision to charge her.

    If anything, being a blogger appears to be helping Rachel Alexander get a lot more support for her defence that she wouldn’t have gotten if she was a non-blogger.

  3. Also, the charges before the bar were brought by John Gleason, an independent counsel from Colorado, who was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. He is from Colorado not Arizona. Why would he particularly care what an Arizona blogger did? Can someone explain that?

    And by the logic of this post is Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch somehow part of this grand vendetta against Rachel Alexander?

    John Gleason’s charges may or may not have merit. But what motive does he have to engage in a vendetta against an obscure blogger?

    • These interrogatories, aimed at finding out if she posted blog articles, are blatant retaliation for the exercise of First Amendment rights.

      I have had my own unbelievable battles with Mr. Gleason in Colorado–and I am a member of the Green Party. And he went after me because I criticized Democrats, too–and exposed judge misconduct.

      Yes, your Arizona Supreme Court justices appear to be in league with the Colorado Supreme Court justices, who were appointed (and I do mean appointed) by savings & loan fraudsters. I have been informed that your Arizona justices have the same connections–to Charles Keating, Charles Lindner, a man in Arizona named Conrad Wolfswinkel, and Larry Mizel/Norm Brownstein in Colorado.

      Have a look at my blog. I have made a very strong case that Mr. Gleason is not even a lawyer–he is a lawyer impersonator. He was appointed specifically to go after attorneys who are exposing corruption. He has outright lies on his resume.

      Sunny Maynard

  4. Are you suggesting that Rachel Alexander doesn’t know the difference between legal and illegal? She does. She passed the bar exam and was admitted to the practice of law in this state. Whatever Andrew Thomas told her to do is immaterial — she is completely responsible for her actions, after all, she is a lawyer, and knows what is legal and what is not. If Thomas told her to do something illegal, she should have arrested him and filed charges. That is how the system is supposed to work. Nobody is above the law, including your boss. And, if you commit a crime because your boss told you to, you are guilty. What is it about illegal that you don’t understand?

  5. Perry Mason says:

    Uh, BDN, apparently you haven’t seen the interrogatories State Bar independent prosecutor John Gleason served upon Alexander demanding to know everything she had ever blogged about any subject between 2005 and 2010. Sounds like a gross overreaching into free speech if you ask me.

    • I haven’t seen them. So I can’t comment on whether they are are a “gross overreaching”. Do you have a link to them?

      And if this were a “vendetta” to punish Alexander for blogging, wouldn’t they already know what she blogged about? If Gleason didn’t even know what she blogged about from 2005 to 2010, it would be pretty hard to have a “vendetta” against her.

    • True Conservative says:

      It’s not overreaching, much less a gross overreaching, to ask about blogs. It’s routine, mundane even. Blogs, Facebook, MySpace … if you are the target of an investigation, or even a witness in a trial, you can expect interogatories and subpoena about the same.

      The reason is too look for admissions or contradictions.

      I am confident Alexander will be properly acquited. I am equally confident the charges were properly brought. Remember, bringing charges does not mean a determination of guilt, just that guilt is probable.

      We have trials for a reason.

  6. To Bill Winn:

    Fine, but if Alexander is to be held accountable to that standard, than her Supervisor Pete Spaw should be too. I don’t hear you calling for his hide. Do you have an agenda, perhaps?

    • True Conservative says:

      Can’t we ever have a discussion on the merits with out going all tea bag crazy with the conspiracy theories and unfounded accusations of hidden agendas?

      Sometimes people just have disagreements in their analysis or their understanding of the facts, or in how much weight they give one fact compared to another.

    • Spaw was not the attorney of record in the Rico suit. Alexander was, She put her name on it. Please check your facts — it seems that you are the person with the agenda. I read the Rico suit, and did not see Spaw’s signature on it. As you probably know, signing a contract or a complaint, or in this case a racketeering complaint makes you the responsible party.

  7. UPDATE: I have secured and attached the interrogatory that specifically targets Rachel Alexander for blogging.

    On another note, once upon a time I worked for Maricopa County (Clerk of the Board of Supervisors). It was no secret that I was the editor of this blog. I have reason to believe that the Board of Supervisors were responsible for my dismissal due to my association to this blog.

    Earlier this year, you may remember that my legislative district had a vacancy due to Kirk Adams’ resignation from the State House. I had expressed an interest in seeking that seat which meant the district precinct committeemen would have nominated three names to be forwarded to the Maricopa Board of Supervisors. There was no way in hell Don Stapley would have appointed me to that seat because of Sonoran Alliance – even though I never wrote anything about the county while I worked there.

    The temptation to challenge Don Stapley for his supervisorial seat in 2012 is extremely strong. I have not yet decided if I will challenge him for the seat but if I do it won’t be because of a personal vendetta like the one being waged against Rachel Alexander. It will be because the voters of the district deserve someone much better than the current supervisor.

    • True Conservative says:

      I encourage all comers to take the fight against Stapley – let’s toss that bum out.

      If you have a claim against the Board, pursue it! Don’t let the get away with treading on your rights of association and free speech. Did they give you a reason when you were dismissed?

      I genuinely don’t see the personal vendetta against Alexander, but I’m open to hearing some proof. I love a good reason to further dislike Stapley. Please share what you can.

    • I read the interrogatory that you posted. It may be a bit of a fishing expedition but I still don’t see how this amounts to Alexander being investigated and charged BECAUSE she was a blogger. It looks more like once she was under investigation, they discovered she was a blogger and asked for specific kinds of blog posts that might be relevant to their investigation.

      And did any of the ultimate charges even reference her blogging in any way?

      Someone please explain how any of this amounts to a vendetta on the part of the independent counsel..

      • True Conservative says:

        These interrogatories are actually more narrow than if I had drafted them. In litigation you can ask for anything that is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

        That’s all these do.

        I don’t know, but I wonder how she conducted herself during the investigation. One has a right not to cooperate, but one does so at the risk of only have the other side being told. As you often hear: you can try to explain it to the cops, or you can try to explain it to a jury. (Please always consult an attorney before talking, however.)

        The charges seem fair, and her team seems to be doing a more than fair job shooting them down.

        G-d Bless America, we have a system that works!

  8. Paula Pennypacker says:

    Shane –

    You would make an outstanding candidate to run against Don Stapley. That said, Gov. Brewer did the right thing by vetoing HB 2484 that would have put the selection of filling legislative vacancies in the hands of PC’s. This was a blatant power grab by certain individuals in our party and you know it. Running against Stapley is the right thing to do. Gaming the system is not. At least you admit what the real motivation behind HB 2484 was.

  9. Jack Hammer says:

    It’s rather obvious that this nonsense is a “two bit” Establishment payback against Andy
    Thomas and his circle for DARING to cross them regarding Immigration Law enforcement.

    Thus we start off with a fishing expedition to either come up with a half a….d indictment of
    Rachel, which even if unsuccessful will have a negative financial impact or better yet force
    her to “roll over” on her former boss.

    Things haven’t been going well with the Obama/Wilcox//Stapely assault on Joe Arpaio so now they’ve decided to switch gears. Russell Pearce is also in the Ruling Class’s crosshairs.

    The guys who created and passed Prop: 200 six years ago, along with those who side with them
    are marked for extinction or Meachamization.

    But the boys over at the CofC along with the Burger Barons and Fast Food Fuehrers should hedge
    their bets. Too many folks are “on” to them and purges can be conducted no two way streets.

    As to Paula’s opposition to P.C.’s filling legislative vacancies, what’s wrong with giving the rank-and-file
    who put in all the party’s volunteer hrs a say in who represents them. It sure is a step above having key
    lobbyists and country club denizens deciding with B.O.S. members in a backroom.

    BTW Who are the leaders who will gain by this change?
    Those who were elected at state and county conventions?
    If so, why shouldn’t they?

    Unlike B.O.S. and City Council inhabitants, they don’t seem to be bought and paid for!

  10. Bill, Spaw filed the pleadings electronically with the federal district court. That is considered under the Bar’s ethical rules to have the same effect as if his name was on the pleadings. What is your beef with Ms. Alexander and why arer you so eager to excuse him but not her?

  11. It is pretty clear that all of them are not guilty because they are our conservative local leaders. I can’t believe the bar doesn’t see that their conservative views are exactly what this state needs and abolishes any guilt they have. Bye the way, why aren’t their dead babies, mexican illegals, and blacks in the ropes of those cowboys above? This is a conservative forum; right?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] and overreaching.” David Roney at SonoranAlliance.com places matters in further perspective, writing: Alexander is being charged, despite a long, unblemished record at MCAO [Maricopa County [...]

  2. [...] and overreaching.” David Roney at SonoranAlliance.com places matters in further perspective, writing: Alexander is being charged, despite a long, unblemished record at MCAO [Maricopa County [...]

  3. scott tucker says:

    scott tucker

    Charges Against Rachel Alexander Are Bogus & Embarrass Arizona Legal Community

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