Supervisors’ shadow county attorney’s office growing larger than county attorney’s litigation department

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

November 7, 2009


We’ve been told that the Supervisors’ new Shadow County Attorney’s Office is expanding and paying its newly hired attorneys huge salaries – WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS. They started their own litigation department last spring under Wade Stewart, the 35-year old attorney they hired who they’re paying $175,000/yr (higher than any attorney at the entire County Attorney’s Office, even senior 25-year prosecutors who prosecuted the Serial Shooters case). Wade is a green attorney who issued an embarassingly incorrect legal opinion a couple of weeks ago based on an Attorney General’s opinion that had been reversed. We’re told his new litigation department is now up to 10 attorneys and growing – that’s 3 more attorneys than the County Attorney’s litigation section has ever had! The Supervisors have also started a second section of attorneys under Richard Stewart, a former litigator for the County Attorney’s Office.

After the Supervisors gutted the budget for the County Attorney’s Civil Division in order to steal the division and put it underneath them, they lured many of the employees away with gigantic pay increases. One litigator was given a $27,000/yr pay increase! Yes that’s right. County Attorney employees haven’t received raises for two or three years due to the recession, and their jobs have become harder due to the hiring freeze and the Supervisors forcing the law enforcement office to cut 15%, yet the Board of Supervisors is hiring new attorneys like it’s going out of style and giving them ridiculous pay increases.

This new Shadow County Attorney’s Office is so shadowy, it’s not even listed on the Supervisors’ org chart. Although the diversity manager is. The Supervisors seem to have forgotten that the people elected Andrew Thomas to head the County Attorney’s Office, not them. A Rasmussen poll last month found that Thomas’s approval rating is currently at 64% among voters with an opinion, considered a high approval rating. Most of the County Supervisors got elected to their positions because those undesirable offices fly under the radar and attract few candidates. The voters of Maricopa County don’t want the unpopular Supervisors stealing away the County Attorney’s Office from under Thomas. What this comes down to is this: The Supervisors are trying to stop Thomas from prosecuting two of their own for numerous alleged felonies, by taking away funding for his office to decimate it.

The legitimacy of the Shadow County Attorney’s Office is currently being litigated in the Court of Appeals.

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  1. Ethics watchdog says

    Does anyone know how many attorneys total they’ve hired? Someone needs to do a public records request of the Supervisors and find out 1) how many attorneys they’ve hired over the past year, 2) what their salaries are, and 3)how much each attorney they hired away from the County Attorney got in raises. This is outrageous! They’ve set up a second county attorney’s office to avoid having their own prosecuted! Is this real people?

  2. alicia gegner says

    I now know a synonym for Board of Supervisors. WASTE and CORRUPTION. Is it Ok to also say stupid?

    This shows what happens when you elect people who do not care about those they respresent, but see the world as a reflection of their own images. Apparently, a warm, dry climate does not cure narcissism or bad governance.

  3. Better watch what you post on here, the county supervisors are going after bloggers trying to shut down any exposure of what they’re doing.

  4. My question is how many attorneys at the county attorney’s office spend their spare time writing blog articles and comments on here? Sonoran Alliance is the Andy Thomas echo chamber these days.

  5. So they usurp the AZ Constitution to create an illegal group. Then expand the group beyond the County Attorney’s group and bribe them with more money. While claiming the County is broke they find new and creative ways to waste taxpayer money. All to cover up the work on the Taj Mahal and protect Don Stapley.

    The latest attack on bloggers and our freedom of speach is the capstone. It is now obvious to all what this board is about.

  6. truthjustice says

    The Board is building a legal empire in an attempt to blockage themselves from prosecution. Meanwhile, they severely limit anyone else from trying to bring any litigation. The corruption is truly frightening. They have 37 personnel and continue to grow. Where are they putting all these people?

  7. Persol (or Stapley’s Chief of Staff or whatever employee at the Supervisors office you are):

    Let’s see….you cut all the other county agencies budgets by 15% while growing your own….naturally 300 prosecutors whose jobs just became more miserable are going to be upset about it. And let’s not forget all the other electeds who demanded that the Supervisors remove David Smith – you’ve made enemies of the rest of the electeds and their agencies too, especially the Sheriff’s Office. Let’s not forget either that I can’t go to an LD meeting or Maricopa County GOP meeting without hearing the conservatives rail against the Supervisors. If you are so naive as to think there are just a few disgruntled prosecutors leaving comments on this site I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell ya. There are some conservatives with no ties to any county agency who are actively lining up candidates to run against the Supervisors and it’s no way near 2012. Why don’t you wake up and smell the coffee….and start looking for a new job.

  8. truthjustice says

    Article didn’t get the Smith’s hatchman correctly…its Wade Swanson. He has at least 11 attorneys under him, 5 paralegals, and 9 more support staff. Richard Stewart now has a staff of 10.

  9. taj mundell says

    So lets get this straight…they have a minor army of inside attorneys, plus they farm out any litigation. The BOS and Smith seem not to fall under the same rules that they are prescribing for others and they are attempting to hold up the special prosecutors. Where are the FEDs when you need them? This in itself is unbelievable…they basically stole the County Attorney’s budget to fund their own fiefdom. Smith and the BOS have lost it…and they continue to get away with it? This is worse than Chicago or Louisiana. I wonder how much more they’ll squeeze out of other budgets to fund their activity? Smith is an out-of-control drunken sailor. And…they’ve bought off the judges by a building…oh but wait…what about that high-priced lawyer…a Tom Irvine.

  10. Persol is obviously Heir Smith or one of his henchmen. He seems to forget even liberal rag republic has figured out the BOS is way out of bounds. It took the bloggers posting the truth to get them to figure it out, but they eventually did. That’s probably why heir Smith wants to shut them down.


  11. I’m look forward “The Dons” parole hearing. I wonder if he will be allowed conjugal visits from Smith?

  12. Arizona Ranger says

    The recent development of a small army of lawyers is no longer just a little “tiff” between Andy Thomas and the Board-it is war! And the Board has the piggy bank! Obviously it is NOT legal and will need to be addresses at the State level and possibly with Federal assistance.

    We now ABSOLUTELY need help from our Legislators-we need them launch an official investigation into this sordid affair. And then we need legislation which will close the several statutory loopholes which has allowed the Maricopa Board to be totally unanswerable to anyone or any body.

    We need to restore sanity to the Board and that will mO ean they need to be replaced. But we cannot wait for the election time frame to do this-we need to do ASAP with the help of our legislagtors. We need to put this band of “Comrades” where they belong-behind bars. And then we need to change our state government so this can never happen again.

    Hey, Legislators….ARE you listening (or reading?) to this plea for an intervention? Now is when we really need your help. Same for the Governor…show us some testosterone when we need it and DO SOMETHING!

  13. Iris Lynch says

    Clearly illegal. AS has been said before, the COUNTY SHERIFF has all the law behind him he needs to make arrests here. The 10th Amendment is in his corner. However, this is no Hollywood drama. It takes more than a script.

  14. Frederica Sinclair says

    Unless we make sure that the members of the Board of Prevaricators who are up for re-election are thrown out of office, we will continue to be fleeced by this gang.

  15. “Persol (or Stapley’s Chief of Staff or whatever employee at the Supervisors office you are)”

    “Persol is obviously Heir Smith or one of his henchmen.”

    I have no connection to either the Supervisors or to Andy Thomas. I also never said I liked the Board of Supervisors. I don’t like either the supervisors or Andy Thomas.

    All I was commenting on is that every other post on this website is basically just an Andy Thomas press release.

  16. We will vote these people out of office!!!!!

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