MAY 30, 2008
The Arizona Bar Association is trying to stop a county prosecutor from enforcing an illegal immigration law overwhelmingly approved by voters with an intrusive “ethical misconduct” investigation of the entire office.
The group that claims to enhance the legal profession by promoting competency and ethics began investigating Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and several of his prosecutors after they challenged judges who ignored a state law that denies bail to illegal immigrants charged with felonies. The measure, Proposition 100, was approved by nearly 80% of Arizona voters in 2006.
Many judges refused to abide by the new measure, however, often granting bail to serious criminals living in the country illegally. Thomas, who was elected Maricopa County Attorney in 2004, took on the judges and won. He successfully got the Arizona Legislature and state Supreme Court to force them to comply with Proposition 100.
Their monstrous egos deflated, the judges retaliated by encouraging the State Bar to launch improper investigations to intimidate prosecutors. In six different probes, the Arizona Bar has requested privileged material involving parties that have current or prior litigation against the county attorney’s office. Some of the information has been turned over to an alternative tabloid that opposes Thomas.
Numerous highly regarded legal experts, including a former Arizona Bar president and state Supreme Court justice, have determined that the investigations have no merit. Because the State Bar is under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Supreme Court, Thomas has appealed to the High Court to stop the merit less probes.
Regardless, Thomas refuses to be intimidated and assures that he will continue to speak out and defend the will of the people. His office has a staff of 900 distributed throughout 15 specialized bureaus in what is known as the Valley of the Sun.
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