Legal Ethics

Ex-Maricopa Co. Attorney Intends to Sue Former Bar President and Ethics Investigators

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Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has filed a notice of intent to sue two lawyers appointed to investigate him for ethical violations and a former president of the State Bar of Arizona.

Thomas is seeking $23.5 million from former state bar president Ed Novak and ethics investigators John Gleason and James Sudler, the Arizona Republic reports. The Arizona Supreme Court had appointed Colorado lawyers Gleason and Sudler to investigate Thomas after a judge concluded Thomas had prosecuted a county official because of political retaliation. The state bar had recommended the investigation, which led to a recommendation that Thomas be disbarred.

The litigation continues to grow as a result of Thomas’ battles with local officials. Three current and former judges have sued Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, claiming the defendants abused their power by launching criminal investigations and filing meritless lawsuits against them. The suit claims Thomas and Arpaio were motivated by power struggles and disputes over budget cuts.

The notice of claim filed on Tuesday is the second filed by Thomas. Last month he filed notice of another $23.5 million claim against Maricopa County, the Arizona Republic story says.

The newspaper quotes bar spokesman Rick DeBruhl on the latest intent to sue. “Attorneys can argue anything in court, and I’m sure that’s what they’re going to do,” he said.

Prior coverage:

ABA Journal: “The Maricopa Courthouse War” “Report Says Ex-Maricopa Co. Attorney and Aide Should Be Disbarred, Alleges Conspiracy Against Judge” “Three Current and Former Judges Sue Maricopa County Attorney and Sheriff Joe Arpaio”

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