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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

National Ethics a Complete Joke; Where are the Feds?

Andrew Thomas Offers No Evidence of Bribery in Judge Gary Donahoe Case -- But Charges Him Anyway
The Phoenix New Times by Sarah Fenske & Paul Rubin - December 9, 2009

​Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas this afternoon struggled to explain his decision to charge the county's presiding criminal court judge, Gary Donahoe, with three felony counts -- including bribery, obstructing a criminal investigation, and hindering prosecution. But Thomas couldn't offer any evidence to the assembled media scrum that Donahoe actually had accepted a bribe of any sort. Instead, he and Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who stood next to Thomas at the lectern) offered the same vague allegations they have made for nearly a year regarding the county's planned court tower, currently under construction. In fact, the county attorney said no evidence exists that the veteran judge personally has received anything in the way of a personal financial benefit during the flap over the $347 million construction project Arizona has a "very broad" definition of bribery, Thomas said in response to requests for specificity.

Thomas seems to be alleging that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the county's Superior Court bench, and their "shared" outside counsel, Tom Irvine and Ed Novak of Polsinelli Shughart, are an unholy "triad" working to block his and Arpaio's legitimate investigation into the tower's construction. But today's announcement that Donahoe now faces felony charges -- when the only evidence of "wrongdoing" on the judge's part is a series of rulings that Thomas and Arpaio vehemently disagree with -- is unprecedented even in Maricopa County. Donahoe also is the same judge who ordered detention officer Adam Stoddard to jail last week for swiping a defense attorney's notes -- drawing Sheriff Joe's ire. Even the Valley's usually compliant press corps seemed incredulous with the announcement of criminal charges against the highly respected Donahoe, who is retiring from the bench in the near future. But Thomas insisted that he wasn't pursuing a criminal case against Donahoe as a preemptive strike hours before the judge was set to hold a hearing that could have ended with Thomas being barred from prosecuting any county supervisor. He later told the gaggle, "If I'm not explaining this well, I hope you'll help me." Say what? "In fairness," Thomas said, after enduring increasingly pointed questions, "I admit this is a hard thing to believe."

He was referring to his allegation that a judge would accept "something of value" (the bribery count) in exchange for his decisions. But because the charges at first blush seem so over the top, some reporters initially thought that Thomas meant it was hard to believe the County Attorney's Office would take such a drastic step against the judge. But Thomas suggested that Donahoe had been obstructing justice "until about two hours ago," referring to when the judge canceled a hearing scheduled for this afternoon on matters related to the County Attorney's ongoing criminal investigations. "The hearing this afternoon was part of an ongoing criminal act," Thomas said. The hearing was scheduled in response to a notice filed by the supervisors' attorney, Tom Irvine. Irvine apparently was planning to argue that the hiring of special prosecutors from Washington, D.C. was illegal, since the supervisors had not authorized it. Thomas said the hearing before Donahoe would have forced his prosecutors to publicly reveal grand jury secrets, which is against the law. Yesterday two county supervisors, Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley, were revealed to be facing criminal indictments. It is unclear whether the D.C. prosecutors somehow participated in bringing evidence to the grand jury in those cases. Also, last week, Thomas' office filed a "racketeering" lawsuit in federal court, which bizarrely accused the supervisors, their lawyers, and the judges of being a criminal enterprise under RICO laws. Because of that pending suit, Thomas said, Donahoe should have recused himself from considering Irvine's legal argument in court today. "That's how lawless this behavior was," the County Attorney said. "Nobody is above the law."

But to many in attendance, it seemed as if Thomas and Arpaio simply don't like the way they keep losing in Donahoe's court: Judge Donahoe removed the County Attorney's Office from investigating the court tower construction, he rejected the notion of holding indicted superivisor Don Stapley in contempt of court for alleged wrongdoing, and he jailed detention officer Adam Stoddard on a contempt of court charge. So first Thomas filed a RICO lawsuit alleging that Donahoe and other superior court judges are part of some vague and convoluted conspiracy, working together to see that the new court tower (with all those big offices and marble floors) is built and the sheriff's office/county attorney's office investigation is thwarted. Then they charge the big kahuna himself, Judge Donahoe, with criminal counts. That's one way to rid themselves of a judge they don't like, and perhaps find another jurist more sympathetic to their point of view. But Donahoe wasn't willing to recuse himself just yet, perhaps because the RICO allegations are so silly and vague. Until he was implicated in this morning's direct complaint, he had planned to go ahead with the hearing anyway. So they charge him with three felonies??? Wow.

"We are going to get to the bottom of this, and we are not going to be obstructed anymore," Thomas breathlessly told the press conference. Is that a threat? Sure is. Here's how a somber Arpaio explained his side of things: "Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do." Yeah, you gotta. Thomas and Arpaio told reporters that Judge Donahoe is required to make his initial appearance January 11. At that point -- unless reason somehow begins to prevail in this county, or unless some higher authority steps in -- he'll need to enter a plea to the charges in front of him and submit to booking. Thomas noted that his prosecutors will seek to move the case forward at a preliminary hearing after the initial appearance, not through a grand-jury indictment. The preliminary hearing is a public proceeding, while grand-jury proceedings are closed. By the time we reached the end of this press conference and read through the convoluted paperwork proffered by Thomas' prosecutors, we only had one question: Where are the feds?


New Yorker said...

Nothing against Arizona, but the corruption is MUCH worse in New York.

Anonymous said...

The Feds are afraid to come to NY because there is so much corruption here in the rotten Apple.

Anonymous said...

We need grand juries in every county in NY which formed to hear citizens complaints against court corruption. These grand juries would not allow the DA nor any judge to interfere with their proceedings. If the DA fails to prosecute or prosecutes ineptly then the voters can throw him out. The people must take back our power.

Anonymous said...

but we still have no one to help us with our complaints, that is why these thugs get away with it, that is why they continue to commit felonies, because they can!
get rid of attorney grievance they are useless thugs

Anonymous said...

In the mid 1990's downstate officials...specifically a Judge Trificanti came barrelling into the upstate courts, with swirling statements that he and Kaye wanted to take over the 8th judicial courthouses. Some very political administrators resistd with F no...not my court by NYC...and they soon were eliminated! And I mean long time, Democratic cash cows! Most judges and employees are totally unaware of this venture and!

By 2000- 2003 downstate started their plotted takeover and held secret meetings( if interested the transcripts are stored in NYC..if they are not altered) with the weak gutless sheep left in the 8th district, given orders by Trificanti to fire whomever they chose no matter how well they worked, just at the behest of the coward sheep...and the biggest cowards then happily destroyed all independent and ethical employees and supervisors.

Soon entered Judge Sharon Townsend and her sidekick money man executive district, hatchet boy...Isenberg... whose family owns a meat business, but he was a total unknown at any level in the local legal community, even by Townsend, and thus this family business purchased his prestige and abusive power!

All of these downstate influencials, hired these upstate puppet judges and administrators to mimic the corruption downstate, all bought and paid for by this downstate judicial syndicate...while many were chosen from the ranks of our local corrupt political parties investing heavily, as well as the Appeals court Judge PIGOTT, and some local jewish lawyers and rabbis.... elated to assist!

This is of course investigated facts and information gathered from sources that participated.

Now... the upstate 8th judicial district is in total disarray, with Democratic and Conservative political parties controlling employment, unimaginable nature of a massive hostility towards women and minorities and blatant threats that terrify every non-political civil servant that has longtime employment, and was not picked by these political family members to have said jobs!

The situation in Buffalo is dire, abusive and no court... state or the slightest bit interested in correcting these criminal violations or protecting these citizens incorporated in the American constitution.

Protectionism appears to be all that exists from one robe wearer to another robe wearer!

I see that the people must gather forces and demand preserve our justice system and force accuracy on the just released media statement/federal court mantra that is supposed to identify the new federal courthouse being built in the heart of our justice square....that states ..."FOR THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE".

At this moment...I do not know how or why that statement was chosen!

Anonymous said...

When the courts are been use to promote child porn and pandering of children, should be a clue how bad things are. These criminals must be expose and the FEDS are fully awared of the situation. The question is why are they taken so long, to begin arresting Judges, attorneys, law guardians and experts involved in human trafficking?

Anonymous said...

9/11 IS AN INSIDE JOB !!!!
GET IT ?????????

Anonymous said...

Where's all the Westchester indictments?

I've been holding my breath, but I can't hold out much longer.

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The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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