County Attorney Gets Flack for Self-Promotion

The county attorney in Phoenix has spent more than $2.5 million in public money on public service announcements since taking office three years ago.

That may not raise eyebrows, except that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is in almost every ad, the East Valley Tribune reports.

The presence of Thomas in the ads has critics asserting he’s using the spots—which include anti-drug, anti-drunken driving and anti-truancy messages—for political gain.

The paper notes that in his first year, Thomas spent $314,000 on an identity-theft campaign. The next year, the amount spiked to $780,000. In 2007 and leading up to the 2008 election, PSA spending has “risen sharply,” the paper reports, noting that: “Of the $1.6 million spent on ads this year, $1.4 million was spent in or committed for the last quarter of 2007.”

A spokesman for the county attorney’s office remained unapologetic.

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