Horne:Andrew Thomas, abuse of power

By Tom Horne

Recently, a court found that Andrew Thomas had prosecuted people for personal political advantage and for personal political retribution.  (Court case CR2010-005423-001, February 24, 2010.)  This is worst thing that you say about a prosecutor.  The following provides some of the back ground for this finding.

The first person who seriously criticized Thomas was Don Stapley.  Stapley is a longtime Maricopa County Supervisor, who is known for fiscal conservatism.  He criticized Thomas for financial irresponsibility.  Thomas had raised the expenditures for the Maricopa County Attorney’s office for outside lawyers from $6 million a year to $16 million a year, almost all of which had gone to lawyers that served on a host committee for one of Thomas’ fundraisers.  There was an appearance of repaying political favors with government money.

In addition, Stapley criticized Thomas for wasting $2 million of public money on advertising allegedly to tell people not to use drugs, but actually to promote Thomas’ name and picture.  The Goldwater Institute would later make the same criticism, stating “Mr. Thomas’ massive and continuous promotion of his name and image through official publications and communications cannot possibly be seen as aimed at advancing any legitimate purpose.”

Almost immediately, an investigation started of Stapley, which resulted in his indictment on trumped-up charges, all of which were ultimately dismissed.  But Stapley went through years of hell, spending over $1 million in attorneys’ fees, and having his health and his wife’s health damaged.  The Arizona Republic editorialized that it could see no rational argument for Thomas’ action, other than “raw political payback,” and that “Andrew Thomas is usurping justice.”  (Stapley dismissal followed, Court case No. CR2010-00543-001; Goldwater policy brief, May 12, 2009, p. 8; Editorial December 9, 2009.)

Simultaneously, Russ Jones, a legislator from Yuma, got crosswise with Thomas’ allies in the legislature.  Jones also found himself indicted on trumped up charges, all of which were ultimately dismissed, but not before Jones had hundreds of thousands of dollars of attorneys’ fees as well.  (Yuma Sun, May 21, 2010.)

All of this was a view to intimidation of critics, which worked.  A number of legislators, asked to endorse Tom Horne, said they could not consider it until Thomas resigned, because they saw Jones being indicted and they didn’t want to be indicted.

Thomas then got into a conflict with all five members of the Board of Supervisors.  Being fiscal conservatives, they had saved money for a badly needed new courthouse, so that it could be built without the county incurring any debt.  Thomas wanted them to raid that fund for his budget, and they refused.  This may have been a reasonable disagreement, but Thomas pursued it by investigating them with a view to indicting them.

A judge put a stop to it, stating that Thomas’ actions were unethical.  The judge pointed out that the County Attorney represents the board of supervisors, and one cannot investigate or indict one’s clients, something that every first year law student knows.  Three different judges, in three different cases, would find Thomas’ actions in different circumstances to be unethical.  The judge in this case also stated that Thomas’ actions had “the appearance of evil.”  (Court Case No.  422GJ350, February 6, 2009.)

The supervisors wanted separate counsel to represent them in civil cases, rather than be represented by someone who had been investigating them.  Thomas contested their right to do so.  A separate judge ruled in favor of the board of supervisors, finding that Thomas had acted unethically.  He stated that when Thomas decided to act ethically, he could resume representing the board of supervisors, but not before.  (Court Case No. CR CV2008-033194, August 21, 2009.)

Thomas was losing case after case of these political cases.  He had to undermine the appearance of objectivity of the trial judges, so he started accusing the judges.  He filed a racketeering case against all five members of the board of supervisors, their lawyers, county officials, and four separate judges who ruled against him in four separate cases.  He accused the judges of bribery and extortion, but had not one iota of evidence that any judge had taken a penny in a bribe, or had committed extortion.

When the time came to argue the motion to dismiss, the gunslinger dropped his guns and ran away.  He dropped the case.  As a cover, he made up a story that the federal government had agreed to pursue the investigation, and that is all that he ever wanted.  The next day the head of the Integrity Division of the U.S. Department of Justice said that he was dismayed at what had been stated, in that the federal government had agreed to no such thing.  Thomas had made it up.  (The Arizona Republic, March 14, 2010.)

Once all of the charges against Stapley had been dismissed, Thomas came up with a new set of charges.  He referred these to Sheila Polk, County Attorney in Yavapai County.  He chose her because she was a life-long conservative Republican, law-in-order prosecutor.  In a brave statement, she stated that she could no longer remain silent, because her silence would implicate her in what she saw as wrongdoing by Thomas.  Her words were that she could not longer remain silent in the face of “totalitarian tactics in Maricopa County.”  (The Arizona Republic, December 22, 2009.)

The amount of money wasted on these campaigns against Thomas’ critics, all of which failed, has been calculated by The Arizona Republic to be in excess of $3 million, all taxpayers’ dollars, at a time when there has been talk about the possibility of laying off police officers.  (The Arizona Republic, June 3, 2010.)

The following is a summary showing that Thomas has lost or dropped all of his political cases:

1. Prosecution of Don Stapley Dismissed
2. Prosecution of Mary Rose Wilcox Dismissed
3. Prosecution of Judge Donohoe Dropped
4. Prosecution of Yuma State Legislator Russ Jones Dismissed
5. Racketeering case against County Supervisors, their lawyers, County officials, and four judges who ruled against Thomas in four different cases Dropped on eve of arguing Motion to Dismiss
6. Contesting County hiring its own lawyer because of Thomas’ unethical conduct Lost
7. Court Tower case Lost
8. Challenging Hispanic court Lost
9. Contest of Balanced Budget Act of 2008 Lost
10. Records request battle with County Lost
11. Prosecution of New Times newspaper Dropped
12. Prosecution of demonstrators Lost


Judges are vulnerable, because they have left their law practices, have no clients, and their reputations are everything to them.  Judges have said that when they rule against the county attorney’s office, they worry about being personally investigated.  If an out-of-control prosecutor can intimidate judges, then no one has any constitutional rights. The Constitution sets up an independent judiciary so that there will be somebody who can protect people’s constitutional rights from incursions by government officials.

Among legislation that has been sought by Thomas, is a bill that would provide that business records could be subpoenaed by county attorneys or the attorney general without the necessity of going to court.  Business officials also could be subpoenaed to testify personally, without the necessity of going to court.  One can imagine the amount of intimidation of critics that would be possible under those circumstances.  As The Arizona Republic stated in an editorial:  “But nothing…compares with the abuse of power Thomas is now perpetrating against the Board of Supervisors.”  (The Arizona Republic, December 9, 2009.)

If an out-of-control prosecutor becomes attorney general, businesses will not want to move to Arizona, and Arizona will have no economic future.


  1. United Front says

    Where to start? With writing this poor and reasoning this faulty the Legislature should immediately impeach Horne for incompetence.

  2. Propping up corrupt County Supervisor Don Stapley discredits this entire post. Stapley is being prosecuted for spending money he raised in a campaign where he had no opponent on luxury personal items – something the rest of us could never afford. Why should he be above the law? Good for Thomas for going after him, no matter how powerful he is. There should not be a double standard for high-level politicians that allows them to escape prosecution the average citizen can’t. Bet ya “Molly Pitcher” is a PR guy for Don Stapley or similar.

    Stapley allegedly spent $6000 of these funds at Bang and Olufson electronics, along with $1300 for hair implants, $400 for candle holders and $10,000 for furniture for his home. He also spent these funds, solicited as campaign money, to buy tickets to Broadway plays and movie theatres, flowers, grocery store bills, massages, department stores and trips for his family to Sundance, Utah to ski, a trip for his son and friends to Florida and a three-week vacation in Hawaii for his entire family at a beach house costing approximately $11,000.

  3. Oberserve says

    Perhaps Thomas is a goof or a loon.

    However, Thomas’ personality or disposition says nothing as to the ethical or unethical behavior of the board of supervisors.

    They are all crooks standing to make a buck off this court Taj Mahal build on old peoples’ property tax dollars who the Board doesn’t give a cra* if they are thrown out on the street and made homeless for not paying their property taxes.

    Thomas bad? Maybe.

    Board of Supervisors bad? Yes. 100%

    I know you like to paint Arpaio as the bad guy, but the Supervisors are squarely in the role of the Sherrif of Nottingham in Maricopa County.

  4. We cannot Afford ANDREW THOMAS says

    Andrew Thomas has cost the tax payers and will continue to cost the taxpayers until each case is resolved. The article is well written and the legislature should thank Tom Horne for winning a decisive victory which saved the state 300 million in HORNE vs. Flores. Also Tom Horne caught the Ajo school district in a fradulent act and charged them back 1.2 million. Tom Horne generates money for this state. Thomas as found by a superior court judge indicted for POLITICAL REASONS. Thomas has driven a wedge deep into the heart of the Republican party and the legal community. He has none nothing admirable and takes credit for everything remotely related to illegal immigration. He has one issue but the state has many. Tom Horne is a HARVARD GRAD with an intellect. Thomas is a Harvard Grad with 42 bar complaints.

  5. The writer is the biggest fool I’ve come across. she says “Stapley is a longtime Maricopa County Supervisor, who is known for fiscal conservatism.” Has she been in a cave. Stapley is responsible for the $340 million Taj Mahal and countless other atrocities. In this recession Stapley let the County spend over $400,000 on paid lobbyist. It is so bad the legislature had to get involved on several occasions to slap him around. Pam only list some of the things we know he did.

    Stapley is one of the most corrupt people in politics! on either side of the fence. Thomas and Arpaio had to go after him. They proved they had the backbone to enforce the law and go after powerful political crooks even in their own party.

    The criminal case HAS NOT BEEN DROPPED. It was move to a different county because Stapley has tremendous influence over the Maricopa County courts. It had to be dropped in Maricopa to refile in the new venue.

    You also forgot to mention Stapley is an open boarder McCainiac. Some flagship Horne picked. Tell you what a poor attorney he really is. He should at least smile for the cameras, and speeding in a school zone? You would think even Horne would know better…

  6. The Mole says

    We cannot Afford ANDREW THOMAS Says = moron

    It’s the Stupidvisors and their illegal activity that cost the taxpayer money. You obviously think they should get a free pass from any prosecution. That shows you have a lot in common the them.

    You also forgot to mention the empty luxury employee and jury buses the Supervisors allow to circle the two or three blocks people would need to walk. ABC15 showed the video and the buses were empty. Don’t know if they still use them or went to a more practical van instead.

  7. Roger-

    Tom Horne is the author. Tom is a he.


  8. Molly

    We have no proof of that and based on his handling of illegal immigration, I’m doubtful he has the anatomy to make that claim.

  9. Thomas Horne has our vote. We cannot have any individual running for office that is being investigated for abuse of power and has dozens of Bar complaints. Who sets the standards for the Attorney General’s office?? It’s time to raise the standards and demand a psychiatric evaluation of anyone who runs for the important office.

  10. …and Roger SCORES!!!

  11. To We Cannot Afford Andrew Thomas, You’re spot on!!

  12. Tom Horne is right — “If an out-of-control prosecutor becomes attorney general, businesses will not want to move to Arizona, and Arizona will have no economic future.”

    Non-business man Andrew Thomas is clueless. He needs to go into the private market and run a business like so many others, then he might learn something about the destructions he is causing the state of Arizona.

  13. It’s good to read Tom Horne’s letter here. I’m sure it will get deleted along with many of the comments that are anti-Andrew Thomas.

  14. Supporting Thomas after seeing the litany recorded here means you have no principles.

  15. Stephen Kohut says

    Looks like we have one Horneiac with multiple blogging personalities. Horne sucked as Superintendent of Public Instruction, NO improvement whatsoever in statewide test scores, and he would suck as AG letting criminal aliens go. We have the cream of the political loser crop and a RINO to rememeber with Horne.

  16. United Front says

    Travis, I do have principles and here’s an example: writing up the litany of 40,000 felonies Thomas and his team successfully prosecuted, per year, would take up too much space.

  17. James Davidson says

    I am not going to defend Andrew Thomas. He can do that himself. Like any public official, he will have to answer for his conduct in office. Maybe he can explain it. Maybe he can’t. We shall see.

    But I cannot abide the glorification of Don Stapley. Four to five years ago, Stapley led the baseless campaign against Sandra Dowling. Andrew Thomas refused to take the case so it was shopped to Goddard who jumped on it. When they were used against Mrs. Dowling, Stapley cheered for many of the tactics he later cried about when they were used against him. She had to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars on dismissed charges. The county brought a civil case against her and ended up dismissing it. Stapley’s favorite lawyer, Tom Irvine, led the County’s charge in the dismissed civil case against Mrs. Dowling.

    Staply has no business feeling sorry for himself until he gives Mrs. Dowling the appology he owes her.

  18. The hilarious tack by the Horniacs is the depiction of Don Stapely as a “fiscal conservative”

    Yeah, and look at the $467 Taj Mahal that given to the courts.

    And you wonder why they held in his favor after being indicted!

    This guy would make Blaggo seek to get a haircut and Travis to seek a useful occupation!

  19. Stephen Kohut Says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 6:11 am
    . Horne sucked as Superintendent of Public Instruction, NO improvement whatsoever in statewide test scores, and he would suck as AG letting criminal aliens go.

    Got an earful this week from a Charter school that said Horne was working every angle for increasing federal funding for schools. That might sound okay, but if AZ sets aside most of its budget ALREADY for schools, why does it need more more more more, and federal funding comes with STRINGS. A LOT of strings. AZ education would be subservient to federal whims and Washington centered political agendas. Instead of increasing federal strings, states need to divest themselves of federal subsidies. But that would require THINKING and actual problem solving.

    So, it meant Horne wasn’t fiscally diligent with the AZ budget for schools so he was willing to sell out more of AZ’s independence for a quick federal fix. Lots of money going in, with dropping academic achievement, and guaranteed federal meddling in perpetuity.
    Full stop.

  20. Wanumba:

    You can take the boy from the liberal wing of the Democrat Party, but you can’t eliminate liberal tendencies and behavior on the part of the boy!

    There’s a word for this particular tendency within certain G.O.P officals, RINOITIS!

    It affects many! From town councils to the U.S.Senate!

    Tom is just following tradition!

  21. Jacobite says

    There’s an ironic twist in the “Horney” post written by “You better believe it”

    While dead on correct about Andy Thomas not being a businessman the poster revealed the real reason why Thomas has a good segment of the business community in a rage!

    He along with Joe Arpaio had the utter audacity to enforce immigration law!

    Let’s face it gang, this state is currently addicted to cheap, unskilled labor and those who benefit by it, like their cohorts in California, are not going to give up short term profits for long term social and economic stability!

    A Tom Horn, an affable accomodator, will not rock the boat as A.G. He’ll defer to the powers that be, while giving lip service to those who seek principled, meaningul change to an awful status quo.

    Unfortunately, he’s not alone and if one keeps close watch, his campaign is allying itself with others which seek to reain a suicidal status quo.

  22. “There’s only one cure for a Histrionic Pathological Liar. Tom Horne!”

    Where are your facts?
    Roger, you may come out of your closet now. Peel off the black veil. Ajo Schools, Tucon’s Ethnic Studies, the Flores Case, Banning Bilingual Ed. (w/Margaret Dugan) and replacing it with four hours of Structured English Emersion – tripling our ELL’s proficiency rates? More than many Superintendents of Public Instruction would do regarding the border problem. Hello! Disgusted, can’t hang with the Big Boys huh? Too much truth getting you in the gut? Mr. Rose’s infidelity has been uncovered. Of course he’ll delete. And for the ignoramus … no ears to hear, no eyes to see group .. Mr. Stephen Kohut – the Terra Nova, ACT, and SAT reported Arizona’s students are achieving ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE! Ouch! I know that hurts! Crackle, crackle. An Andrew protégé, doesn’t listen, but loves to LIE! Your sin will find you out. Thomas. Rose. Kohut. Are you sure it’s not cohort?! And Stephen … go back to school Mr. statistics my foot! The L-E-G-I-S-L-A-T-U-R-E divvies up the state’s funds from the coffer my friend. Not Tom Horne. In fact, 40% of the state’s coffer goes towards education, determined via our Congress. You sound like one of the Sheeple who speak out of their ears trying to blame Tom for the education budget cuts! IGNORAMUS STRIKES AGAIN! Tom doesn’t divvy up the money. Try the Legislature! We are entertaining the company of fools! Thank God the True Tea-Partiers love Tom. To you all, once Tom wins, and you truly want to see how great he is, you too will be very proud and very blessed to have a man of his character and true conservative record in office. He will do good by us, and we forgive you for your attempts to mislead others. We love you and forgive you. Xo “There’s only one cure for a Histrionic Pathological Liar. Tom Horne!”

    Jacobite, It’s not too late to come over to the correct, winning side. Obviously you haven’t seen his campaignee’s at the Tea Parties! They love you and forgive you for what you do not know! This Saturday, at the Wesley Bolin Plaza, there were 4 cackling hyenas while the 99% love Tom for what he’s doing for our state. National Coverage! Woo-hoo!

  23. Each of you need to check out the book written by Andrew Thomas entitled, “Crime and the Sacking of America.” Andrew de-humanizes the Black Community stating society must conduct a genetic test to see why Blacks commit such a high rate of crime. Can we say the Old South? Segregation. Rosa Parks. Martin Luther is rolling over in his grave … Character is what you are when nobody is looking …
    Reporting the truth because AZ is worth it!

  24. Stephen Kohut says

    Britt James (AKA Tom Horne or a Horne Paid Shill),

    Tell your paid bloggers to put a sock in it. The non-normed, criteria based results from the Department of Education’s NCES has shown for YEARS that AZ students badly underperform compared to other states. AZ Johnny CAN NOT read. If a student cannot read they cannot perform. Sorry that the facts are bad but they are what they are. maybe Tom should have done things differnt, like Florida did, so our schools would not suck the way they do.

    Terra Nova is normed data that relates your performance RELATIVE to the group’s. For example. Johnny is in the 80% percential of basketball player height. Sounds good until you see that the data is taken from a group of dwarfs and the criteria based results show that Johnny stands 3′ 10″. Not exactly NBA material, is he? Welome to the difference between the Terra Nova/AIMS normed crap and NCES criteria based results. On the topic of AIMS, one little secret is that there is criteria based results buried in the AIMS reports but no one in AZ Education (Tom, school districts, teachers, etc.) want to point it out to the parents because it usually shows that AZ Johnny is an ignorant dolt.

    ACT/SAT data is meaningless regarding average student performance as the tests are only taken by those considering going to college.

    Better get someone much better at stats than the dullard you are getting to help you now as you look like fool spouting nonsense.

  25. gulenwatch says

    Tom Horen embrasses the Hofendi/ He audits teachers with thick accents in TUSD and other public schools but totally ignores his pet school Sonoran Science Academy from any audit. About 30% cannot speak proper English at all. That would be about 90 teachers. Google search Gulen Sonoran Science Academy. I suspect Turkish pay offs for this candidate. Please look into it!!


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