FBI Probing Gov’t Attorney’s Office in Embattled Maricopa County, Ariz.
Posted Mar 5, 2010 5:12 PM CST
By Martha Neil
After litigation against judges and efforts to search their computers by the local government attorney in embattled Maricopa County, Ariz., the FBI has now expanded an earlier probe of the county sheriff's office to include as well the office of County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
Although the FBI would neither confirm nor deny that Thomas is a target of the investigation, agents have been questioning witnesses about the role Thomas has played in prosecuting and suing Maricopa officials, reports the Arizona Republic.
Among other controversial actions, Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio jointly filed a federal civil racketeering lawsuit earlier this year against county officials, judges and private lawyers representing them.
Thomas tells the newspaper, through a spokesman, that he is unaware of any federal investigation involving him.
"Mr. Thomas has previously called for a federal investigation into all irregularities in Maricopa County," says spokesman Barnett Lotstein. "While our office has not yet been contacted by any federal authorities, we would hope that any investigation will be complete and not one-sided. Of course, we will cooperate if contacted."
Additional and related coverage:
ABAJournal.com: "Grand Jury Said to Be Probing Power Abuses by Ariz. Sheriff’s Office"
ABAJournal.com: "Ariz. Judges Defending Controversial Civil RICO Case Seemingly Win a Round"
ABAJournal.com: "Phoenix-Area Sheriff to Defy ICE’s Rollback on His Immigration Enforcement Power"
KPHO: "Sources: FBI Investigating Andrew Thomas"