by Jim Nintzel
We're far removed by the strange political-legal circus that was underway in Maricopa County while Republican Andrew Thomas was county attorney, so we're not even going to try to summarize Thomas' crusade against the judges and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, other than to say it appears to have been a gross miscarriage of justice.
New details are emerging today as new Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, who was appointed to take over the job after Thomas resigned to run for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, held a press conference to reveal how bad the case against the judges was.
And the reason this matters to us down here: Thomas wants to use the same lousy prosecutorial discretion all across the state of Arizona as AG. He relentlessly uses the power to put someone behind bars to pursue his political enemies, even on the flimsiest of grounds.
And he tries to hide it behind his willingness to chase illegal immigrants.
Phoenix New Times' Paul Rubin has details on Romley's press conference at Valley Fever:
The biggest news was that a county grand jury last March rejected efforts by one of then-County Attorney Andrew Thomas' special prosecutors to issue major felony indictments against Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe, county manager David Smith, and several other county officials.
"This is outrageous behavior, absolutely outrageous, and this miscarriage of justice stops now," Romley said a few minutes ago.
So much for the ham sandwich theory, as in a grand jury would indict one if only a prosecutor would ask.
Instead, the grand jury stunningly decided to "end the inquiry," a rarely invoked action which tells the prosecutor that his or her case is an absolute stinker and should go no further.
Read the whole thing here. Expect a lot more in the hours and days to come.