Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
A Maricopa County Superior Court Judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors over whether County Attorney Andrew Thomas is its attorney. Suit OK'd against Board of Supervisors
The judge on Thursday also ordered Thomas to disclose all cases in which attorneys on staff or on contract with the County Attorney's Office represent an adversary to the board or have shared information with adversaries.
Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio sued the board over its decision to essentially fire Thomas as its legal counsel. The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court on Dec. 31, challenged the board's authority to sidestep Thomas' office and hire attorneys to provide advice to the supervisors on civil matters.
It also challenged the board's decision to have private attorney Tom Irvine represent the county without Thomas' approval.
The supervisors countered by asking retired Judge Donald Daughton to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that Thomas' office had conflicts of interest, given various civil suits among elected county officials and the criminal prosecution of one of the supervisors.
Irvine also maintained that there was precedence to let the supervisors "legally defend" the action with "their chosen legal counsel."
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The lawsuit stemmed from the ongoing dispute over whether Thomas' office can ethically represent the supervisors on civil matters while prosecuting Supervisor Don Stapley on more than 100 criminal counts related to his financial-disclosure forms. Stapley has denied the allegations that he withheld information about real-estate deals and properties. On Thursday, sheriff's deputies served search warrants on Stapley's staff as part of the investigation.
Arizona's poster boy for political corruption continues to be plagued by scandal.