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maricopa

After 17 months the federal government has released heavily redacted information in response to a FOIA request, shedding new light on the probe into the systematic abuses committed by Sheriff Joseph Arpaio and allied county D.A. Andrew Thomas. We’ve been covering them for years. [Arizona Republic, auto-plays]

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Taxpayers of the Arizona county are shelling out millions in settlements to compensate victims of the systematic abuses committed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and D.A. Andrew Thomas. The latest settlement, $1.4 million, was to a developer whose office was ransacked as part of a series of raids conducted against Arpaio’s and Thomas’s political enemies, purportedly in search of evidence of political corruption. “Thomas was disbarred for his actions last year, but Arpaio was re-elected to a sixth term as sheriff in November.” When organized lawyers display higher ethical standards than an electorate, I’m not sure it reflects well on the electorate. [Aaron Kase, Lawyers.com, Phoenix New Times; earlier on Arpaio and on Thomas]

Maricopa County (Phoenix) Sheriff and longtime Overlawyered mentionee Joe Arpaio did not keep close track of the military-grade gear the Pentagon gave him — in fact, his office seems to have lost some of it — and now the feds are lowering the boom: “Because of the agency’s continued failure to locate nine missing weapons issued by the Pentagon’s 1033 program, the Sheriff’s Office was terminated from the military-­surplus program, effective immediately. The agency is required to return its cache of issued firearms, helicopters and other gear within 120 days.” Arizona Republic reporter Megan Cassidy quotes me regarding the interesting timing of the announcement, following closely after events in Ferguson, Mo. helped stir a nationwide furor over the 1033 program. It’s not specified (h/t Lauren Galik) whether they’ll have to give back the hot dog machine and $3,500 popcorn machine.

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Three columns to read on the subject: Gene Healy, Glenn Reynolds (linking this site), and Nat Hentoff (like Healy, a Cato colleague) in his syndicated column (thanks for mention). I had a letter to the editor yesterday in the Frederick News-Post drawing connections with local lawmakers (as well as a blog post at Free State Notes with similar themes) and the Arizona Republic quoted me Tuesday on the federal subsidy programs that drive militarization, including transfers to the ever-controversial Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office of Joe Arpaio. Earlier here, here, here, here, here, etc.

P.S. Also quoted on NPR.

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Never mind what rightish pundits have to say about the Perry indictment. Leftish pundits like Jonathan Chait are tearing it to shreds all by themselves. It reminds me of when prosecutor Andrew Thomas, sidekick of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix, pressed charges against some of Arpaio’s political rivals over actions within their official authority, an episode that ended with Thomas’s disbarment. Chait:

They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry. The “crime” for which Perry faces a sentence of 5 to 99 years in prison is vetoing funding for a state agency. …

The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves.

When you’ve lost not just David Axelrod and Matt Yglesias but even Jonathan Chait and Scott Lemieux for a legal complaint against a conservative, you’re not just aboard a sinking ship, it’s more like you’re grasping a piece of random driftwood.

P.S. John Steele Gordon, Commentary: “the blow back from left, right, and center is so intense that Perry may well be the first public official to actually gain political clout from being indicted.” (& welcome Jacob Gershman/WSJ Law Blog readers)

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Longtime Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio talks quite a game as a populist defender of the ordinary citizen. His actual record, however, has been one of grave abuse of power. One of the worst incidents has now come home to roost: The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a $3.75 million settlement over an incident in which Arpaio’s deputies arrested two critical journalists at their homes in the middle of the night. [Phoenix New Times]

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Former Maricopa County, Arizona state’s attorney and frequent Overlawyered mentionee Andrew Thomas now faces disbarment for misdeeds that include launching unfounded prosecutions of local officials who had criticized him [Terry Carter, ABA Journal] The latest ABA Journal headline is an instant classic: “Defiant After Disbarment Ruling, Ex-Maricopa Attorney Andrew Thomas Compares Himself to Gandhi”

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September 21 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 21, 2011

September 12 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 12, 2011

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March 28 roundup

by Walter Olson on March 28, 2011

  • Maricopa-cabana: Sheriff Arpaio uses tank (with Steven Seagal along) to raid cockfight suspect [KPHO, Coyote, Greenfield, Balko]
  • Malpractice reform in New York is about more than money (though it’s about that too) [Paul Rubin, TotM; NYDN]
  • EEOC initiative combats alleged employer bias against unemployed job applicants [Bales/Workplace Prof, Hyman]
  • After court rejection of Google Books settlement, where next? [Timothy Lee/ArsTechnica, David Post]
  • When your lawyerly conduct has been eviscerated by Judge Easterbrook, you know it [Above the Law]
  • Ninth Circuit rules on legality of keyword advertising using other firms’ trademarks [Coleman]
  • Election showdown over future of Wisconsin Supreme Court [PoL, more, Esenberg, Althouse]
  • Legal battle follows NYC’s attempted application of sidewalk bicycle ban to unicyclist [AP]

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February 15 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 15, 2011

  • Artist Jeff Koons drops his lawsuit against maker of resin balloon dogs [Legal Blog Watch, BoingBoing, earlier]
  • The car pile-up happened fast, the come-ons from lawyers and chiropractors were almost as speedy [Adler/Volokh]
  • Andrew Thomas update: former Maricopa County Attorney intends to sue former bar president and ethics investigators [ABA Journal, Coyote]
  • Litigation finance: “Poker Magnate, London Firm Bankroll Chevron Plaintiffs” [Dan Fisher, Forbes] Case for champerty pleaded before ethics commission [Podgers, ABA Journal] The experience in Australia [Karlsgodt]
  • Judge: Kansas City stadium mascot hot dog toss suit can go to trial [OnPoint News, earlier]
  • How National Enquirer matched wits with John Edwards to expose scandal [David Perel, HuffPo] More: Justice Department building a case? [AW]
  • “The Whooping Cough’s Unnecessary Return” [Paul Howard/Jim Copland, City Journal] Theodore Dalrymple reviews new Paul Offit vaccine book [same]
  • Many trial lawyers yank funding from Ralph Nader operations in pique over his role in depriving Al Gore of White House victory [ten years ago on Overlawyered]

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December 7 roundup

by Walter Olson on December 7, 2010

  • Defendant “was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of death.” Come again? [Volokh]
  • Supreme Court agrees to hear global-warming-as-nuisance case [Ilya Shapiro/Cato at Liberty, Jonathan Adler and more]
  • Supreme Court agrees to review Wal-Mart employment case, could be Court’s biggest statement on class action issues in years [Beck, Schwartz, Ted at PoL]
  • Investigator recommends disbarment of controversial former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas [Arizona Republic, earlier]
  • Vessel-hull section of copyright law could give Sen. Schumer vehicle for controversial bill to accord IP protection to fashion design [WSJ Law Blog, Coleman, earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Federal regulators propose requiring backup cameras in new cars [Bloomberg via Alkon]
  • “Why Rosetta Stone’s Attack on Google’s Keyword Advertising Program Should Be Rejected” [Paul Alan Levy, CL&P]
  • “Lawyer Got Secretary to Take His CLE Courses, Disciplinary Complaint Contends” [ABA Journal, Illinois]

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May 27 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 27, 2010

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Probate poser in Arizona

by Walter Olson on April 15, 2010

Marie Long, now 88, was “worth $1.3 million when she [suffered a stroke and] came under the protection of Maricopa County’s probate court in 2005. Today, she’s destitute and depends on taxpayers for support.” Where’d the money go? [Laurie Roberts, Arizona Republic and more via ABA Journal] But see: A different view of the affair [Phoenix New Times via ABA Journal]

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April 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 4, 2010

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March 19 roundup

by Walter Olson on March 19, 2010

  • Plaintiff in case alleging defective clown shoes “does not want any additional publicity” [N.Y. Post via Lowering the Bar]
  • Santa Fe’s anti-wireless activists [The New Mexican, earlier]
  • Law vs. vaccines, cont’d: “Judge Declines to Upset $22.5 Million Jury Award in Polio Case” [NYLJ]
  • Arizona high court launches probe of Maricopa County prosecutor Andrew Thomas [Coyote, earlier]
  • “Innumerable histronics” but no conspiracy: litigation over 1996 Filegate scandal fizzles out [Althouse]
  • More boosts in regulators’ budgets [Roger Clegg, NRO, OFCCP employment regulation at federal contractors; Koehler, FCPA Professor] Obama’s putting in regulatory hardliners at many agencies; a clue to his politics? [Bainbridge, Judis/TNR]
  • If only they’d confine themselves to suing the actual bad actors in FACTA (credit-card-slip) and junk-fax litigation [Bart T. Murphy, Chicago Business Ledger; my '06 take]
  • So may bullies ever fare: sanctions set against company that sued BoingBoing for libel ["MagicJack" case and more]

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January 22 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 22, 2010

  • Early reactions to Supreme Court’s blockbuster Citizens United ruling striking down ban on independent election advocacy [Point of Law, more, yet more]
  • Vision Media Television Group continues its legal push against online critics, Section 230 or no [Consumer Law & Policy, earlier]
  • Big FBI sting operation could leave firearms business “wounded”, some say [Point of Law]
  • Runaway’s suit against McKeesport, Pa. school district dismissed on statute of limitations grounds [AP/Law.com]
  • “Sandra Day O’Connor Backs Campaign to End Judicial Elections” [Schwartz, NY Times, my two cents]
  • “Sheriff Joe’s Enabler” [Radley Balko on Maricopa County D.A. Andrew Peyton Thomas; earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Why some D.C. lawyers make so much money year in, year out [Hill & Lat, Washingtonian, quotes Ted; Ribstein and more]
  • “Hampshire woman jailed for false rape claim” [BBC]
  • P.S. At this point, politically, Dems almost have to pass something labeled health care reform whether or not the resulting legislation makes any sense [my comment in National Journal blogger's poll, more]

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