Thomas: Probe 'pressure to drop charges' - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Thomas: Probe 'pressure to drop charges'

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Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:39 pm | Updated: 12:32 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas filed two motions Thursday in the ongoing criminal cases involving county Supervisors Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox and Judge Gary Donahoe.

One motion asks the court to conduct an inquiry to uncover what Thomas alleges is "an orchestrated campaign to pressure law enforcement in Maricopa County to drop charges against influential criminal defendants and suspects."

The inquiry was requested in response to recent statements by fellow prosecutors in Yavapai County and Pinal County that were critical of Thomas and his handling of criminal indictments and investigations, the motion states.

A second motion asks for retired Supreme Court Justice Ruth McGregor to approve the appointment of special prosecutors Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a Washington, D.C.-based husband-and-wife team. The other special prosecutor would be James Rizer.

Thomas had asked the county Board of Supervisors to approve the appointments earlier, but that request was denied because the board said Thomas did not follow procurement rules or offer a cost estimate.

McGregor was appointed on Wednesday to oversee the disputes arising from increased legal battles, indictments and conflict-of-interest allegations between Thomas' office and the Board of Supervisors and county judges.

Thomas has alleged in a federal racketeering lawsuit that Donahoe and other judges have made rulings against the prosecutor to stop investigations into Stapley and a $340 million court tower.

Stapley, a Mesa Republican, was indicted Dec. 7 on 27 counts alleging he used money intended for a political campaign to buy luxury items and vacations for himself.

Wilcox, a Phoenix Democrat, was charged in a 36-count indictment claiming she voted on county contracts involving a charity with which she had outstanding loans.  

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