Federal judge upholds $638,148 wrongful termination suit for Deputy County Attorney against county supervisors for whistleblowing

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Tuesday,  September 9th, 2014

Supervisors waste more taxpayer dollars appealing verdict against them for retaliating against whistleblowing Deputy County Attorney Maria Brandon

Maricopa County Supervisors will not stop abusing tax dollars in witchhunts against those exposing their corruption

MCBOS-Jail-Card1-1024x791 You don’t need to hear it from us, even the Phoenix New Times is reporting on this latest abuse. Here are some excerpts from their article today:

Maricopa County officials violated the rights of a former deputy county attorney by firing her after she spoke to a local newspaper, a federal judge confirms.

In an eight-page ruling last week that upholds February’s $638,148 jury verdict in the case, U.S District Judge Frederick Martone wrote that “more than sufficient evidence” proved lawyer Maria Brandon’s allegations that the county retaliated against her for talking to an Arizona Republic reporter in 2010.

The case stemmed from a brief, innocuous-sounding quote that Brandon gave to the Arizona Republic for a 2010 article by veteran scribes Craig Harris and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez. The article was about a lawsuit settlement with seven anti-Sheriff Joe Arpaio demonstrators who were arrested unfairly by the sheriff’s office in two 2008 incidents.

Brandon, acting as lawyer for the Sheriff’s Office, didn’t want to pay the protesters more than $7,500 each in a settlement deal. Unexpectedly, lawyers for the Board of Supervisors and Assistant Risk Manager Rocky Armfield had the payout bumped up to a total of nearly half a million bucks.
“I don’t know why they did what they did, and I’m sure they have their reasons,” Brandon told the Republic for the July 9, 2010, article.

 

Whether she realized it, or not, Brandon had stepped on a hornet’s nest. At the time, county administration officials were engaged in a serious feud with the Sheriff’s Office, which was acting unethically in a no-holds-barred attack on the Supervisors and county management that stemmed from a budget dispute. The feud culminated with the 2012 disbarment of former County Attorney Andy Thomas, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “unholy” ally.

 

Armfield and Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson (who sued the county in June 2010, later receiving a $122,000 settlement) complained about Brandon to her employer. County Attorney’s Office supervisors then took the suggestion to strip Brandon of all of her risk-management cases. The move “all but eliminated her workload and undermined her reputation and standing” in the county attorney’s office, which ultimately led to her firing, Judge Martone wrote.

Evidence in the case revealed that Wilson and Armfield, in pressuring the County Attorney’s Office to do something about Brandon, overstepped their authority.

As we covered earlier this year, the County Attorney’s Office blamed Brandon for causing an altercation with paralegal Jackie Garcia — even though Garcia had made threats in front of other office employees to “kick [Brandon's] ass.” Garcia was given a five-day unpaid suspension, while Brandon, a 31-year employee of the county, was fired.

Larry Cohen, Brandon’s lawyer, told the jury that discipline for the altercation with Garcia was the invented “pretext” for firing Brandon. Judge Martone seems to back up that contention in his new ruling — thus making Brandon’s supervisors at the CA’s Office look underhanded.

 

In an accompanying ruling last week, Martone also ordered the county to pay an additional $10,817 to Brandon for various court costs.

 

Read Judge Martone’s full ruling 

 

If the county supervisors attempt to appeal this to the Ninth Circuit, when are the grown-ups going to step up and stop this abuse of taxpayers’ dollars?

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Corrupt Democrat supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox gets her $1 million from taxpayers for stress

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Monday June 2nd, 2014
Left wing 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms $975,000 settlement to corrupt Maricopa County Supervisor

Even the other county supervisors – who are mostly corrupt themselves – voted against her awarding herself money for “stress” over being prosecuted for filing false financial forms and voting on a grant to Chicanos por la Causa which was a conflict of interest considering they’d given her a loan at a great interest rate. 

UNBELIEVABLE……Read the story here. Must be nice to be powerful and connected. The rest of us little people would be in prison.
 
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Shawnna Bolick Receives Endorsement from Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri

 Shawnna Bolick

Shawnna Bolick Receives Endorsement from Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri


 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Phoenix, AZ- May 12, 2014- Today, Shawnna Bolick, Republican candidate for Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 28, received the endorsement of Maricopa County Supervisor, Steve Chucri.

“Shawnna will be a prominent voice for families and business across Arizona,” said Supervisor Chucri. “She is dedicated to K-12 education policy and knows what it takes to make sure our children have opportunities to receive the best education. As a county supervisor, I understand the value of working with individuals in our State Legislature who are not only passionate, but understand the need for a common sense approach when it comes to regulatory burdens, smart tax policy and making Arizona competitive. Shawnna will represent the Arizona taxpayer well and I look forward to working with her once she is elected.”

“I am honored to have Mr. Chucri’s endorsement,” stated Bolick. “Steve and I share many conservative beliefs including the need for more government efficiency, transparency and accountability at all levels of government. Steve is a hard worker and a terrific public servant who uses common sense to resolve problems. Together, I know being prudent with our constituents’ limited resources will further help us tackle streamlining the permitting and regulatory processes in order to create the best business climate. I look forward to working with Steve to further these efforts at the local and state levels. As an active communicator I believe we will also make a great team.”
 
Shawnna Bolick has lived in Legislative District 28 for 13 years.  Shawnna and her husband, Clint, have two children, Ryne (12) and Kali (9), plus their six year old rescued greyhound, Beary Goldwater, living in the shadows of Squaw Peak.
 

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Shawnna L.M. Bolick can be reached via email atinfo@bolickforarizona.com, or via cell at 602-842-1912.  For more information about her campaign please visitwww.BolickforArizona.com.

Front page AZ Republic: AZ Bar disciplinary judge mired in corruption

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Wednesday, April 16th,  2014

 

Liberal Arizona Republic finally exposes corruption of AZ Bar disciplinary judge who disbarred Andrew Thomas  
Reporter uncovers cronyism and coverup goes all the way to the top – the AZ Supreme Court! 

Divorce case stirs ethics allegations about judge

Dennis Wagner, The Republic | azcentral.com
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/16/divorce-case-stirs-ethics-allegations-judge/7765749/

This is not a story about a dog or a divorce, but that’s where it begins.
After Mark Dixon and his ex-wife, Carol Johnson, terminated their marriage in late 2009, they got into a custody dispute over Shiloh, an Australian shepherd.
On Dec. 2 of that year, Dixon was pulled over by three plainclothes Pinal County sheriff’s deputies with semiautomatic weapons, according to the incident report and court records.
Dixon alleges he was ordered to surrender the dog or face immediate arrest, so he acquiesced. A civil complaint he filed in federal court against a group of Pinal County deputies and Dixon’s ex-wife says he argued that the disagreement with his wife was a civil matter and that deputies “did knowingly and willingly criminally extort property” by threatening arrest if he did not give up the dog. His lawsuit accused Pinal County officials of conspiracy.
In a court motion, Dixon asserted that his ex-wife, who then worked for a credit union, had assisted Pinal County Superior Court Judge William J. “Bill” O’Neil in obtaining a $300,000 loan prior to the canine-custody dispute.
Dixon, who represented himself during most of the case, speculated that O’Neil, who was not named as a defendant, returned the favor by influencing deputies to seize the dog.
Deputies denied any conspiracy, court records show, and O’Neil also denied any impropriety in an interview with The Arizona Republic. Defense attorneys successfully argued that the lawsuit, which sought $5 million in damages, was legally flawed and failed to show proof.
Thus began a four-year saga of intrigue involving O’Neil, who presides over discipline in the Arizona court system, and Dixon, a 49-year-old construction contractor who acknowledges a 1997 federal fraud conviction.
Dixon and at least two lawyers subjected to discipline by the State Bar of Arizona question the integrity of O’Neil, a key figure responsible for maintaining ethical standards within Arizona’s justice system.
In a court motion filed last month, suspended Phoenix attorney Jane O. Ross asked that O’Neil be removed from Bar disciplinary proceedings against her because of “a pattern of corruption, failure to uphold the due-process rights of disciplinary respondents, failure to acknowledge conflicts of interest, abuses of discretion and power, dereliction of judicial duties and knowingly making false statements.”
The motion to remove O’Neil contains allegations of criminal and unethical behavior. It relies heavily on information gathered by Dixon and includes an affidavit from him sworn under penalty of perjury.
A motion is made
“O’Neil is accused of illegal conduct in his personal affairs and ethical misconduct from the bench,” Ross wrote. “It is patently unfair for a judge, so accused, to continue to sit in judgment of others similarly accused until such accusations are either confirmed or dispelled.”
O’Neil did not respond to a Republic request for comment on Ross’ motion, though he previously spoke to the newspaper and rejected challenges to his integrity. He has not withdrawn from the case, but he did assign another judge to conduct an April 17 hearing on Ross’ motion.
Heather Murphy, director of communications for the Arizona Supreme Court, said she does not know what actions or investigations into the allegations the Supreme Court might launch, if any.
Dixon and O’Neil, both Casa Grande residents, have known one another since Dixon’s daughter began boarding and riding her horse at O’Neil’s stables years ago. In a sworn affidavit and formal complaints, Dixon said a friendship evolved. O’Neil characterizes Dixon as an acquaintance.
Either way, the two men agree that Dixon worked on O’Neil’s property occasionally and that they talked often. The judge presided over Dixon’s wedding. Dixon says they often discussed legal matters; O’Neil says that Dixon sometimes asked for legal advice but that he tried to brush off the queries.
After the dog incident, however, Dixon filed complaints or claims against O’Neil with the Arizona Supreme Court, the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Attorney General’s Office and the State Bar of Arizona.
Dixon shared copies with The Arizona Republic. The Commission on Judicial Conduct usually posts complaints online after its investigation, but it opted not to publish the complaint against O’Neil, a spokesman said.
Investigations and litigation proceeded at the same time the Supreme Court was setting up a new ethics system to deal with attorney misconduct – and appointing O’Neil as the state’s first and only “presiding disciplinary judge.”
For the past three years, O’Neil has overseen proceedings against scores of lawyers, including the disbarment of former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, while fending off Dixon’s accusations of unethical conduct. He is now considering approval of a proposed Bar reprimand against former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke for ethics violations during a national political scandal involving the Operation Fast and Furious firearms investigation.
In an August 2012 complaint to the Commission on Judicial Conduct, Dixon told the story of Shiloh.
According to a copy of the complaint provided to The Republic, Dixon also asserted that O’Neil was his “ghost writer” in a Pinal County Superior Court motion and secretly authored an ethics complaint Dixon lodged against another judge.
Finally, he wrote that O’Neil acted improperly – or created an appearance of conflict – in transactions involving a residence owned by the judge’s mother-in-law.
According to public records, Sarah Holmes, O’Neil’s mother-in-law, executed a short sale of her Casa Grande house to a family friend. The friend subsequently sold a half-interest in the dwelling to O’Neil. Holmes continued to reside at the house – as a renter, according to O’Neil.
In an interviewlate last year, O’Neil told The Republic that he did not author legal papers for Dixon, did not enlist deputies in a scheme against him and did not engage in a fraudulent real-estate scheme. “I categorically deny the allegations,” he said.
Former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Stanley Feldman, who represents O’Neil, said the judge has been smeared by a felon who bears a grudge. “There’s really nothing to it. … This is just a plain vendetta,” Feldman said.
The Commission on Judicial Conduct dismissed Dixon’s complaints after an initial review. A federal judge threw out the conspiracy lawsuit. No other government entity has sustained allegations by Dixon, who says each setback reaffirms his belief that Arizona’s justice system is corrupt.
The chain of events
Documents in the Pinal County Recorder’s Office show the chain of events: In August 2006, Sarah Holmes, O’Neil’s mother-in-law, secured a $204,000 loan on her house. Within months, Holmes borrowed an additional $203,950 using her home as collateral.
Three years elapsed. In January 2010, records show, Holmes executed a short sale of her property for $72,000 cash to a man named BrienBrenfleck. O’Neil confirmed that Brenfleck is a longtime family friend who once lived at O’Neil’s residence.
Short sales usually occur when a property’s mortgage debt exceeds its market value. In order to avoid foreclosure, lenders in some cases allow a homeowner to sell the residence and eliminate debt in excess of the proceeds.
Such transactions typically must be approved by mortgage holders, and the indebted seller generally cannot have close ties with the buyer.
Within days of the short sale, according to records on file with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, Brenfleck and “Bill O’Neal” (sic) were registered as owners of a new Arizona trade name, BOBB Investments, initials from the principles’ names.
Ten months later, Brenfleck transferred half-ownership of the Holmes property to Judge O’Neil and his wife, Tammy. O’Neil signed an affidavit listing his purchase price at $25,000.
O’Neil told The Republic he had “nothing to do with the refinancing” of his mother-in-law’s home or her decision to do a short sale. O’Neil said it was sheer coincidence that Brenfleck was looking to invest in a house and happened to see a real-estate ad about the short sale.
“We did not give him a check (to purchase the residence as a straw buyer),” O’Neil said. “We did not set a bag of money on the doorstep. We were not involved.”
About the same time as the home was advertised, O’Neil said, he and Brenfleck contemplated a business buying depressed real estate and reselling it. He said that BOBB Investments was created for that purpose but that they were unable to borrow funds to get the enterprise started.
O’Neil said Brenfleck called him months later saying that he had lost his job and that the house he had purchased from Holmes needed major repairs. Brenfleck asked if the judge would acquire a half-interest in the residence, then share refurbishment costs. O’Neil said he agreed to do so.
Brenfleck could not be reached for comment.
Short sale detailed
Ross’ recent motion to remove O’Neil describes the short sale and alleges that evidence implicates Arizona’s presiding disciplinary judge in “illegal conduct.”
The motion says an attorney who played a key role as trustee in the transactions, Christopher Perry, later was convicted of negligent homicide and fleeing the scene of a 2011 drunken-driving accident.
Records show that Perry was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration but that he did not get disbarred until March 2013, a month before his release, although the disbarment was retroactive. Ross’ motion alleges Perry received favorable treatment from O’Neil in disciplinary proceedings because the suspension of his license was stayed. She alleges that the entire matter creates a “shocking appearance of impropriety.”
Records show that Perry litigated a number of cases before O’Neil when the judge worked in Pinal County Superior Court. Most were perfunctory evictions where the Phoenix attorney appeared by telephone.
O’Neil told The Republic he has no acquaintanceship with Perry: “Never talked to him. Maybe he was in my court at some time. … But I don’t know Christopher Perry.”
Perry could not be reached to discuss the matter.
Ross is a prominent attorney in Arizona’s gay and lesbian community. Her law license was suspended in March 2013 for four years after a hearing before O’Neil. In that case, she was accused of pressuring a client to pay an additional $10,500 shortly before trial, then withdrawing as counsel when the client refused. She also was charged with signing a false document, making misleading statements and publicly accusing a judge of prejudice because he “just doesn’t like lesbians.”
The current case against Ross is based on Bar allegations that, while her license was inactive, she continued to practice law and failed to notify a client of her suspension.
In a court filing, Ross answered that she had not acted as a lawyer, but utilized a power of attorney available to anyone. She asserted she was unable to locate her client to advise him that she’d been suspended.
In seeking O’Neil’s removal, Ross also alleges that the late Robert Gallo of Casa Grande repeatedly served as an independent “public” member on attorney-discipline panels with O’Neil. Ross contends the judge unethically failed to notify defendants that Gallo was his close friend, neighbor and business associate.
O’Neil previously confirmed to The Republic that he and Gallo were friends. He said that he does not believe the friendship constituted a conflict, but understands that others might disagree.
Ross’ motion also says O’Neil repeatedly violated her legal rights in disciplinary proceedings and discriminated against her based on his religious beliefs regarding homosexuality.
Ross concluded that O’Neil should not merely be disqualified from her case, but should no longer serve as Arizona’s presiding disciplinary judge.
Code requirements
The Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct requires jurists to “avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety” that occurs when a reasonable person believes a judge’s conduct is unethical.
O’Neil obtained half-ownership of a house for $25,000. The judge conceded that the residence was purchased from his mother-in-law by a family friend. The mother-in-law remained in the home. The friend and the judge contemplated becoming partners in real-estate ventures.
Asked if that scenario was inappropriate, O’Neil responded, “I don’t believe so, no. I ran it by an attorney during the commission (inquiry) … and he said there was no fraud.”
What about the appearance of impropriety? “In hindsight, would I have done this?” O’Neil said. “The answer is ‘No.’ “
Upon learning of O’Neil’s remark, former Justice Feldman said, “I hate to contradict the good judge, but … there isn’t any appearance of impropriety.”
Brenfleck and Holmes, who declined to be interviewed, wrote letters to Feldman declaringthat the transactions were proper. An affidavit of “arm’s length transaction,” signed by Brenfleck, says that no family member or business associate participated in the short sale and that there were “no hidden terms or special understandings.”
Arizona judicial canons say a jurist must conduct private affairs “so as to minimize the risk of conflict. … A judge shall not abuse the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests of the judge or others. … Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by improper conduct and conduct that creates the appearance of impropriety.”
Dixon provided The Republic a copy of his judicial-conduct complaint against O’Neil. It alleged that the judge “did in fact commit mortgage fraud in using Brien Brenfleck as a straw buyer.”
George Riemer, executive director of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, recused himself from the case because he serves on lawyer-discipline panels with O’Neil.
The Dixon complaint was referred for screening to Michael O. Miller, a commission member and then-Pima County Superior Court judge.
Miller recommended dismissal of the complaint. On Nov. 12, 2012, the full commission ruled there was “no evidence of ethical misconduct.”
Complaints surface
Dixon’s complaints against O’Neil surfaced in the disbarment proceedings against County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his deputy, Lisa Aubuchon, accused of unethically filing criminal charges against political foes.
Before he became presiding disciplinary judge, O’Neil had been assigned briefly to a key case in the scandal, in which he ruled against the prosecutors. When Bar complaints were lodged against Thomas and Aubuchon, O’Neil was placed in charge of the disciplinary hearings. Aubuchon asked that he withdraw due to a conflict of interest. O’Neil declined.
Thomas and Aubuchon were stripped of their law licenses in April 2012, and O’Neil authored the 232-page decision.
Two weeks later, Mark Dixon signed an affidavit alleging that O’Neil had privately discussed the Maricopa County attorney controversy with him in spring 2009 and had expressed bias against Thomas and Aubuchon. Aubuchon included his statement in an appeal of her disbarment to the Arizona Supreme Court.
O’Neil denied such a conversation occurred and said he had no conflict in overseeing the disbarment case.
The Supreme Court rejected all of Aubuchon’s appellate arguments, including claims of bias by O’Neil, which the court said “lacked merit.” In its September decision, justices saidshe failed to “prove bias or prejudice by a preponderance of the evidence” and “did not demonstrate that Judge O’Neil’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned or that he was biased or prejudiced as a result of his limited roles in the related criminal matters.”
Even if Dixon’s allegations were true, the court said, his affidavit “does not overcome the presumption that Judge O’Neil acted without bias or prejudice.”
O’Neil said Dixon’s unceasing accusations had created safety concerns. He noted that Dixon’s judicial complaint described an incident in which a horse at the judge’s stable was euthanized with a gun while the O’Neils were at church. O’Neil said he had not even been aware that a horse was shot on his property until he read Dixon’s account.
“It terrified us, absolutely terrified us,” he said. “I’m horribly concerned. I lock my doors at night. … We keep our dogs in the house.”
Dixon said the suffering animal was put down by an off-duty police officer, who corroborated that account to The Republic. Dixon said he mentioned the incident in his complaint because he was told of an alleged plan to discredit him by charging him with a weapons violation as a result of the mercy killing.
Dixon, meanwhile, says he is in hiding outside Arizona, fearful of being framed by officials in the justice system as he continues to investigate.
“I just want this (expletive) straightened out,” he said. “I mean, this is so far beyond a man and his dog that it’s not even funny.”
Reach the reporter at dennis.wagner@arizonarepublic.com.

Lisa Aubuchon speaks out – the other side the Bar and media don’t want you to know

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Sunday, March 30th,  2014

 

Disbarred Deputy Attorney under Andrew Thomas exposes corruption of AZ State Bar

Names names, reveals former Bar president Ed Novak’s unethical role in targeting political enemies

We’ve been following this scandal closely here at American Post-Gazette, since some of us are married to or related to attorneys or judges, and are concerned that this could happen to any of them. Activist Laine Lawless, who has a long history of speaking up for and defending those who are wrongly attacked, interviews politically targeted attorney Lisa Aubuchon in a 7-part series (45 minutes long). Lawless is not a conservative, but she was so disgusted by how the State Bar targeted Aubuchon that she had to speak up. The interview is excellent and we recommend you try to watch the whole thing, Aubuchon gets to the bottom of why the State Bar targeted her, Andrew Thomas and Rachel Alexander. We’ve summarized some of the worst aspects of her testimony below. It will shock you. As we’ve said before, Cook County is no longer the most corrupt county in the nation, Maricopa County is. At least in Cook County, Jesse Jackson, Jr., received 2.5 years in federal prison for doing the exact same thing that Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley did. What happened to Stapley? He awarded himself $3.5 million from us taxpayers for “stress” over being prosecuted, and got the prosecutors disbarred.
AZ Bar Association v. Lisa Aubuchon Part 1
AZ Bar Association v. Lisa Aubuchon Part 1
This is the first video; the next 6 can be found on Lawless’s YouTube channel here.
Aubuchon begins explaining how this all started; county judges were letting illegal immigrants accused of felonies out on bail, where they were at risk of committing more crimes. That set off the judiciary against Andrew Thomas, whose prosecutors did not want them released. The judges were also upset with Thomas because they could no longer pick up the phone and call him to arrange for lighter sentences for cronies, like they had done with liberal Republican Rick Romley in the past. Thomas insisted that everyone be treated equally under the law, no special treatment for judges or politicians.
Lisa then explains how she was told that Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley might be involved in some shady land swaps, and she started investigating and determined that it sure looked like it.
The presiding judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court at the time, Barbara Mundell, told Sheriff Arpaio’s Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott that Don Stapley had told her if the judges want the $340 million dollar Taj Mahal court tower built in the midst of the recession, they must hire his lawyer buddy and yes-man Tom Irvine, as a “space planner” (yeah that’s right, what is a space planner?). His firm was given over $1 million for their role as a space planner, and all he appeared to do was show up at some meetings and take notes.
Ed Novak, the guy behind all the corruption
Smelling corruption, Thomas decided to investigate Irvine’s role. There was a grand jury investigation to determine if there was probable cause to prosecute Irvine. It was handled by the criminal presiding judge Gary Donahoe. Insanely, the supervisors turned around and hired Irvine and his law partner Ed Novak, a former president of the State Bar who is still on the Bar’s board of governors, to be the attorneys objecting to their own investigation! Talk about a conflict of interest. They asked for a stay on the grand jury’s investigation from the AZ Supreme Court, which was denied. So instead, they went to the AZ Bar disciplinary judge, William O’Neil, who granted the stay. Talk about unethical abuse of the legal system! Us ordinary people wouldn’t get that kind of treatment going around the rules. It was later discovered that Novak was behind many of the frivolous bar complaints against Thomas that were all dismissed in the mid-to-late 2000s.
Novak got O’Neil to halt the grand jury just in time, because the grand jury was about to ask for draft indictment papers on him. At that time, liberal Republican Rick Romley had been appointed interim county attorney by the supervisors (who he rewarded by being their yes-man) and had a press conference announcing that the grand jury did not indict Novak. This was dishonest, because the grand jury was going to indict them if it hadn’t been stopped by O’Neil.
As a result of this, the Bar brought charges against Aubuchon, Thomas and Alexander. The county attorney has never not paid for the costs of prosecuting deputy county attorneys, but in the case of Aubuchon, they refused to provide her an attorney for the trial. A Montana attorney was so outraged by the corruption, that he represented her throughout the entire trial pro bono.
During the show trial that went on against Thomas, Aubuchon and Alexander, Judge O’Neil never pronounced her name correctly – right up until three months later when the trial ended and he pronounced her disbarred. One way he frequently mispronounced her name was to refer to her as “Ambush-on,” clearly implying she was corrupt – an obvious ethical violation by a judge.
When Aubuchon discovered that O’Neil had been involved quashing the Judge Donahoe grand jury investigation, she brought it to the attention of the court. O’Neil lied and said he had never been involved in it!  But Aubuchon found the pleadings later with his name on it. A former close friend and neighbor of O’Neil, Mark Dixon, has bravely come forward with affidavits, speaking up about how O’Neil told him when Thomas and Aubuchon were attempting to indict Donahoe, that it was terrible what they were trying to do to Donahoe, a personal friend of his. Consequently, it was a MAJOR ethical conflict for O’Neil to ever be the disciplinary judge of Aubuchon and Thomas, when not only was Donahoe a personal friend of his, but he’d signed the paperwork stopping the grand jury indictment of him, and previously stated that he thought the indictment was terrible.
Several witnesses perjured themselves on the stand during the trial of Aubuchon, Thomas and Alexander, and when caught later in civil trials, recanted their statements! Judge Mundell testified that one of the jail overflow facilities had been condemned, as supposed justification to build the $340 million Taj Majal court tower. The sheriff’s office contradicted her testimony on the stand, testifying that it hadn’t been condemned, in fact they had continued to use it all along.
Aubuchon was told by a a senior attorney from a top, well-connected law firm during a settlement conference that she better take the settlement of a few years suspension and run, because a decision had already been made by O’Neil in collusion withe Bar to disbar her – before the trial had even started! Anyone who watched the trial could tell it was a kangaroo court the entire way, O’Neil frequently laughed and joked with the counsel representing the trio, as he was about to destroy their careers, completely inappropriate and something most judges would find themselves reprimanded for.
After O’Neil disbarred her, Aubuchon appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court. They took 14-15 months to decide her appeal, and she was not allowed to practice law most of that time, which is unprecedented. Arizona Bar rules state that disbarment actions take precedent over ALL other civil cases. Yet the Supreme Court didn’t bother to follow their own rules – something that ironically, Aubuchon would have been disciplined for had she done the same thing – and sat on her case for over a year. Even REGULAR civil cases are usually decided three months after the final briefs are in!!!!
The Arizona Bar’s own rules state that while on appeal, attorneys still get to practice law. Their reason for not allowing Aubuchon to continue practicing while on appeal? She’s a “danger to the community.” This is astonishing when you consider an Arizona attorney who was drinking and driving and killed someone, but was still allowed to practice law.
Scott Rhodes, who the Bar wanted to represent Aubuchon, since he would do their bidding, admitted to Aubuchon it was rare for
her have only to had one bar complaint against her in her 20+ years of practicing law as a senior prosecutor. She has received multiple awards from law enforcement agencies and victims services. Her division awarded her trial attorney of the year.
Aubuchon’s life has been turned upside down as a result of the political targeting. She was 7 years away from retirement, with 2 daughters in college. She was forced to cash out her retirement, which was taxed at 50%. To this day, she is still behind on her home payments and has an IRS lien on her home. She has credit card debt and judgments hanging over her head from people she prosecuted. She and her attorneys were sanctioned $200,000 by Ed Novak. The judge awarded it to Novak simply for filing a motion to dismiss. Even though there’s a legal rule that says you can’t get attorneys fees for yourself!
Aubuchon recommends the mandatory bar association be disbanded to stop these abuses. Half the states do not have a mandatory bar association. The Arizona bar association is run by an incestuous group of people that protects bad attorneys and harasses good attorneys. Please contact your state legislators and urge them to pass legislation disbanding this corrupt cabal. Any attorney in Arizona is in danger until this happens.

Hear 5-Minute Stump Speeches from 29 Arizona GOP Candidates!

uvs140316-001Here’s a chance to see and hear from no less than 29 Arizona elected-office candidates, all in one place. It’s like speed-dating for politicians(!).

On March 15, 2014, the Sun City West Republican club sponsored a well-run Candidates Forum in which each candidate packed all he/she could in a 5-minute appeal to Arizona voters.

The full article and videos are at this link.  You can hear them all or use time sliders to pick the candidates of your choice. Included, in order of appearance, are:

Michael Jeanes, candidate, Arizona Clerk of Courts
Sandra Dowling, candidate, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Clint Hickman, candidate, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Elbert Bicknell, candidate, Maricopy Country Health Care District #4
Jean McGrath, candidate, Marcopa County Community College District #4
John Heep, candidate, Marcopa County Community College District #4
Bonnie Katz, candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Lucy Mason, candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Diane Douglas, candidate, AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jeff Dewit, candidate, Arizona State Treasurer
Randy Pullen, candidate, Arizona State Treasurer
David Livingston, candidate, AZ Representative LD22
Phil Lovas, candidate, AZ Representative LD22

Judy Burges, candidate, AZ Senate LD22
Clair Van Steenwyk,
candidate, US House of Representatives
Trent Franks,
candidate, US House of Representatives
Tom Forese,
candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Mark Brnovich,
candidate, AZ Attorney General
Tom Horne,
candidate, AZ Attorney General
Michele Reagan,
candidate, AZ Secretary of State
Justin Pierce,
candidate, AZ Secretary of State
Christine Jones,
candidate, AZ Governor
Al Melivn,
candidate, AZ Governor
Alice Lukasik,
candidate, AZ Governor
John Molina,
candiate, AZ Governor
Frank Riggs,
candidate, AZ Governor
Scott Smith,
candidate, AZ Governor

For the full article, click here.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Raises $3.5 Million

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Breaks Yet another Fundraising Record

PHOENIX, AZ – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s re-election campaign today announced their fundraising haul for 2013. The Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio committee raised more than $3.5 million in the last twelve months, setting another record for a county race.

The committee collected over 78,000 contributions, totaling $3,550,100.87. Based on these figures, the average contribution was approximately $45.00.

The overwhelming majority (99.5%) of the contributions received were under the old limits of $450 per person before the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the new limits of $5,000 per person.

Chad Willems, Arpaio’s campaign manager, stated, “We continue to be blown away by the depth and breadth of support for Sheriff Joe. These numbers tell the story that the Sheriff and his policies are more popular than ever.”

Arpaio said, “I am so grateful for the outpouring of support from so many generous people. It emboldens me to know that my supporters are there for me especially when faced with a recall election and being maliciously targeted by the federal government just for doing my job.”

He continued, “Every four years, my supporters encourage me to run for Governor. Based on these fundraising numbers and knowing I could be competitive, I will have to give it serious consideration.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was re-elected to a sixth term in November 2012.

County Supervisors: Some of us “victims” get settlements, others don’t!

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Wednesday, January 9, 2014

Why do County Supervisors award $3.5 million to Don Stapley for “stress” but 0 to Mary Rose Wilcox for “stress?” 
Evidence mounting that million dollar payoffs county supervisors gave themselves and their cronies were NOT because they were actually victimized by Arpaio/Thomas 

On of Don Stapley’s two arrest photos.
The Maricopa County Supervisors continue to hand out settlements to themselves and their cronies over “stress” from being prosecuted by Sheriff Arpaio and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. But something funny is occurring. Mary Rose Wilcox, who was prosecuted more than anyone except Stapley on the list of “victims” who received generous million dollar settlements from the taxpayers, is being prohibited from receiving a settlement by the other supervisors. The Phoenix New Times reports that the supervisors have spent $375,442 of our tax dollars in legal proceedings to prohibit her from getting the $975,000 she is asking for.
We ask, if Arpaio and Thomas wrongfully prosecuted Stapley and Wilcox, doesn’t that mean both supervisors are entitled to cash payouts, not just one of them? SOMETHING REEKS TO HIGH HEAVEN. We’ve said it here all along, both supervisors are corrupt and were able to dodge prosecution because they control the judges’ purse strings. Even the Phoenix New Times admits that Stapley is corrupt. Read here to refresh your memory why. 
Arpaio and Thomas were cleared of all wrongdoing by Obama’s Justice Department, despite the crooked Arizona Bar disbarring Thomas. WHEN ARE THE ADULTS GOING TO STEP IN AND STOP THE PAYOLA? The county’s insurance isn’t paying for the crony settlements; there is a $5 million deductible per case. How many more million dollar payouts do the crooked supervisors get to pick and choose to award to their cronies? The one that really rankles us is $500,000 to Don Stapley’s secretary for “stress.” Are you kidding?

Crooked county supervisors award Don “the Don” Stapley whopping $3.5 million in taxpayer dollars!

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Supervisors refuse to go to trial over Stapley’s lawsuit since they know a jury wouldn’t give him a dime  
New county supervisor Steve Chucri, who replaced Stapley, is only supervisor who objected to crony payoff 

On of Don Stapley’s two arrest photos.

Boy it must be nice to be rich, powerful and connected. Don Stapley was just AWARDED $3.5 million for doing the exact same crime that Jesse Jackson, Jr., was sentenced to 2.5 years in PRISON for! We covered the disparate treatment here.Both men were prosecuted for spending thousands of dollars in campaign contributions on personal luxury items.  The Arizona Republic lists what Stapley bought

here. Expensive stereo equipment, massages, three family vacations to Utah, Florida and Hawaii, fine women’s clothing from the nicest stores in NYC to name a few.
Stapley was indicted not just once, but twice, by grand juries on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts. Using taxpayers’ money, he hired the best, most connected attorneys to the judiciary and State Bar, who claimed that Sheriff Arpaio and his attorney Andrew Thomas were on a political vendetta. We’ve still never been able to wrap our heads around the “political vendetta,” since all three are Republicans.Some believe Stapley has a vendetta against Arpaio for busting his brother in a prostitution sting in the midst of this.  

Stapley won, and bilked the taxpayers out of millions, getting him off the hook and then getting Thomas disbarred. Meanwhile, he and his cronies have been handing out “settlements” for “stress” over being prosecuted. Stapley’s former business partner Wolfswinkel, a convicted felon, got $1.4 million awarded from the supervisors. The supervisors awarded Stapley’s secretary $500,000. Wonder what kind of stress she went through?

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Steve Chucri bravely announced he would run for Stapley’s seat a couple of years ago – even though Stapley was still in office. Shortly thereafter, Stapley revealed he would not be running for reelection. Chucri was the lone voice on the board who spoke up against the $3.5 million award to Stapley last week, saying it should be decided by a jury.

We need to keep cleaning up the supervisors’ office. Until the rest of them are removed and replaced with honest people like Chucri, the payola and political attacks will continue – on your dollar.

Read what four others are saying on Facebook about the award:

JUST WENT THROUGH THE ROOF ! ! ! ! Just saw an infuriating story on CBS 5 Local newscast. The obviously corrupt Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is once again nailing the taxpayers to tune of millions (7 MILLION) in rewards to themselves and friends in another attempt to smear Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas. I was LIVID when I saw Supervisor Kunasek say taking the case to court was not worth the risk when HE KNOWS DARN WELL that a Federal GRAND JURY looked at ALL the evidence these losers presented against Sheriff Joe and Andrew Thomas and they declared there was NO REASON TO INDICT. It is the Board’s Duty to defend the taxpayers, not crooks within their walls. I think the MCBS KNOW what would happen if the truth gets out. I am sick to my stomach that we can’t get any news source in the valley to REPORT the facts on these ridiculous awards of OUR money to shady operators. I believe every citizen of Maricopa County should DEMAND that AG Horne investigate the behavior of ALL parties in this case. I cannot sit still for this outrage and no one else should either. We also need to find some qualified candidates to run for the Board so we can get some accountability asap. Corruption is KILLING our Republic, don’t sit still for it. Let’s get the Courts and more importantly a JURY involved with this matter. I am tired of the One-Sided assault on our sensibilities.

This is terrible. I thought once that goofy Stapley was out of their things would be different. So many forces to fight.

We need to do something about this.

They always pay off – that’s why they get sued so often…..after all, it’s not THEIR money — it’s ours!!!

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Rep Michelle Ugenti Proposes County Regulatory Reform

Scottsdale, AZ (Dec 16th, 2013) – In an effort to reduce the regulatory burden and reduce costs on Arizona businesses, Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, has introduced legislation that will create greater accountability of county government.

House Bill 2013 is loosely modeled after the Arizona Administrative Procedures Act which governs the process state agencies must follow when creating rules and regulations they impose on Arizona businesses.

Ugenti first introduced this legislation in 2012, at the request of many members of Arizona’s business community, to provide them with more certainty and greater input in the development of county regulatory policies.  As a result of that effort, in 2013 Maricopa County in conjunction with various stakeholders made several modifications to its regulatory process resulting in greater transparency, additional stakeholder input and expedited processes.

Last session Ugenti sponsored legislation to apply the model created by Maricopa County to the other 14 counties in Arizona.  Businesses all across the state should benefit from a process that is less complicated, less costly and more predictable.

“I am appreciative that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors recognized the merits of what was being proposed and acted to improve their regulatory process for Arizona’s business.  They recognized the value in working with the regulated community to improve transparency, reduce costs and increase accountability.  This legislation is worth fighting for so that businesses all across the state receive those same benefits,” Ugenti said.

Many in the business community agree with her. The National Federation of Independent Business, a voice for small business, gave Ugenti’s voting record on business issues the highest score possible in 2011 and 2012, the most recent years available.  Others who have supported this legislation include the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and the Arizona Chapter of Associated General Contractors.