EJ Montini – Pick your own prosecutor? Really?

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pick your own prosecutor? Really?

Ask yourself this question, and be honest.

If you were in legal trouble, facing fines and jail time, and you had the opportunity to pick the attorney who would prosecute your case would you do so in a “fair and appropriate” manner? Me neither.

This makes what Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox told the Republic hysterically funny.

It has to do with Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, who may run for state Attorney General . If he does so, Thomas would have to resign his job. His replacement would be named by the Board of Supervisors. Since Thomas is prosecuting two of those supervisors, he would prefer a less personally-interested group of people make the selection.

It’s a good point.

But so far, supervisors are blowing him off. Wilcox went so far as to tell a Republic reporter – apparently with a straight face: “Mr. Thomas, thank you for your thoughts, but we will conduct ourselves in a fair and appropriate manner.”

Yeah, right.

We can argue all we want over whether Thomas’ prosecution of the supervisors is politically motivated. Even if you believe that to be true, however, letting these particular chickens pick the fox that will enter their hen house is a joke.

Legal or not.

And it says something (not good) about their ethics.

From Az Republic E.J. Montini Feb. 11, 2010
E.J. Montini is a columnist for The Arizona Republic


  1. If justice mattered enough to Mr. Thomas, he’d forgo the upcoming election to see this prosecution through.

    Seems like he’s more interested in having more rootin’, tootin’ quick-draw shootin’ fundraisers with Sheriff Joe to further his political ambition.

  2. David Roney from lighthouseblog.com asked, somewhat facetiously, “I heard a lot of Sheriff Joe’s inmates who are awaiting trial are filing paperwork to run as County Supervisors to avoid prosecution. Is that true?”

  3. The unfortunate truth is that there are plenty of inmates who would make better Supervisors than the bunch in there now, who have gotten away with white collar crime for years. Only the New Times ever seems to call them on it. I’d rather have the first 5 people in the phonebook as Supervisors than the crew we have in there now.

  4. Remove the personalities from consideration – think about the “government agencies” involved. One agency has an active investigation of the other. It does not seem logical to allow the agency under investigation to select the leader of the agency performing the investigation. Under these circumstances, logic and fairness must prevail – allow the County Attorney agency to select the replacement. A possible solution might be to have this replacement effective until the current investigations are completed and then have the Supervisors select a permanent replacemnet.

  5. Principled conservative says

    Any average American can see that it makes zero sense to let the people being prosecuted pick their replacement prosecutor. There must be some mechanism to allow for a better solution. How long until Stapley and Wilcox are finally found guilty and removed from office? If they were removed within the next few months before Thomas resigns to run for AG, that would resolve most of the problem, although there is still the pending racketeering lawsuit against the Supervisors. Can the governor appoint a replacement instead?

  6. Unbelievable!! Montini got this right! Just because some of you don’t like the Sheriff and County Attorney doesn’t make it right to let people under indictment appoint their own prosecutor. That is just insane. The BOS is corrupt. Anyone that can take away the bias their hate blinds them with can see that truth.

    The fix for the appointment problem is in a bill Rep. Carl Seel is running right now. HB2691 conforms the system to match the process used to appoint legislators. It’s not perfect, but it is fair. The BOS still makes the final appointment. All Stapley and Wilcox need to do is remove themselves from that particular vote.

  7. I trust Carl Seel completely, his solution seems to be a fair solution in this situation. Thank you Carl.

  8. Jeez, even the Board of Stups’ friends at the Republic are turning on them!

  9. Mary Rose’s statements reveal the well known, traditional arrogance of the B.O.S. and the Phoenician central corridor elites who pour money into Supervisory campaigns.

    Accountability is beyond the pale for these people!

  10. I agree with The Klute. Andrew Thomas should see this thing thru, instead of worrying about running for AG. If this prosecution meant so much to Thomas, he’d see this prosecution thru to the end. Plus, he hasn’t raised that much money to run compared to the other AG candidates.

  11. Arizona Ranger says


    This time EJ Montini was honest enough to admit the truth! And the truth of the matter is that the idea of the BOS picking a new Maricopa Co. Attorney is totally unacceptable! No doubt they would pick some limp-wristed attorney who they would have promised the moon, either in direct compensation or with promises of more “power”. No friends, we cannot allow this to happen. Here is where we need our Legislators to step up and help us out with this little situation. We the people deserve a real independent minded attorney to be Andy’s replacement. And we cannot (and will not) allow the Board of Supervisors to pich that person.

    It is time to call our State representative and senators and ask them to get involved and solve this problem

  12. Montini has demonstrate a firm grasp of the obvious on this one. How is it he is so far off on other issues. Is it possible even the republic is starting to get this?

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