Monday, September 4, 2017

Former Prosecutor and Sheriff Arpaio Attorney: Trump Was Perfectly in His Right to Pardon Him

Many are criticizing President Trump for pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio. Even some on the right have chimed in against the pardon. Arpaio used to be the most popular sheriff in the country, and until just a few years ago, no one had a problem with him arresting illegal immigrants. Now, a federal judge has convicted him of criminal contempt for “racially profiling” illegal immigrants.

I am a former prosecutor with Maricopa County who briefly represented Arpaio in 2010. For the latter, I have been viciously targeted through the legal system ever since. I could have easily turned on Arpaio after all the misery I’ve been through, but I know the truth and won’t take the easy way out. Trump didn’t do anything wrong, nor did Arpaio. This was political. Not criminal. It comes down to this description by Arpaio’s lead attorney, “What the sheriff’s trial is actually about was a non-existent crime for not following a preliminary injunction that was unclear to everyone who read it except the federal judges.”

So what happened? The left turned race into a very toxic issue against the right in recent years. They did it cleverly, showcasing the good-looking children of illegal immigrants and referring to them with the sentimental term “Dreamers” in order to evoke maximum sympathy. Higher crime rates by illegal immigrants were swept under the rug. The left got the public to see illegal immigration as a race issue, not a border security issue, even though it does not affect Hispanics who are legal residents or citizens, and it affects all illegal immigrants, not just Hispanics. This emboldened left-leaning judges to turn against Arpaio.

Compounding the issue of the pardon is the timing of the left-leaning media’s recent firestorm toward Trump after his remarks about Charlottesville. While there is no evidence Trump supports white supremacists — in fact he’s denounced them repeatedly over the years — the left and complicit media were able to create an impression even among some on the right that Trump must have some nefarious opinions on race. Pardoning Arpaio immediately afterward must be more evidence of that racism. Normally logical thinking people on the right are now condemning the pardon as fast as they can, afraid of being tarnished with the racist card.

This isn’t going to help them in the long run, because now that the left has found a phony issue that is resonating, it is expanding the definition of racism to even more absurd levels. The Confederate monument controversy is the left’s latest successful way to smear the right on race. Never mind that it was primarily Democrats who started Jim Crow laws, fought against civil rights laws and erected these monuments. Not content with merely taking down statues of famous Confederates, the left is now demanding to take down the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and Mt. Rushmore. How far will they go?

Trump is accused of abusing his presidential power by pardoning Arpaio. But  former President Obama pardoned or commuted the sentences of far more unscrupulous characters than Arpaio. He commuted the sentence of Oscar Lopez Rivera, who helped lead a terrorist group whose bombing resulted in the deaths of four people. He commuted the sentence of Bradley/Chelsea Manning, who leaked confidential American military and diplomatic information to Wikileaks, putting American lives at risk. He also commuted the sentences of hundreds of drug dealers with violent records.

As I’ve written previously, Arpaio was a very deserving candidate for a pardon. The two judges on his case should have recused themselves for bias. Arpaio should have been granted a jury trial since it was a criminal charge. Even Arpaio’s local detractors agree here. Instead, he received a bench trial by a biased judge. Of course it looked like Arpaio was racially profiling for the obvious reason that Arizona has a lot of illegal immigrants and they commit crimes — including traffic-related crimes and offenses — at a higher rate than the general population. Yet the judge decided that this higher arrest rate meant his office must have been racially profiling in order to detain illegal immigrants.

Every witness in the case testified that the judge’s order telling Arpaio to stop racially profiling was incoherent. The judge later clarified she meant Arpaio could not turn detained illegal immigrants over to federal authorities anymore without citing an accompanying crime — even though Arpaio had been doing this for years. This change came at the whim of the Obama administration, without Congressional approval, and was arbitrarily enforced until it was time to “get Arpaio.”  Even so, as the late SCOTUS Justice Antonin wrote in a dissenting opinion in the 2012 opinion Arizona v. U.S., “federal law expressly provides that state officers may cooperate” with federal authorities when “identifying a removable alien and holding him for federal determination whether he should be removed.”

As a result of what happened to Arpaio, police officers from other law enforcement agencies in Maricopa County have privately told me they are terrified to pull over someone while driving who appears to be an illegal immigrant. Tempe Police Officer David Lewis has been under investigation for years and taken off the street beat because of accusations of bias against illegal immigrants. But his beat included the Arizona Mills mall, known for large numbers of illegal immigrants, and also a higher crime rate because it is a mall. Insiders tell me Lewis is a kind, decent man without a racist bone in his body.  

Trump is also being attacked on technical grounds for pardoning Arpaio. But the Constitution doesn’t specify technical grounds. Those are laid out in instructions at the Department of Justice — which are subject to the authority of the president. Furthermore, requirements such as a five-year waiting period appear to apply to those applying for a pardon. Arpaio never applied for a pardon, Trump merely decided on his own to issue one. Considering Arpaio is 85, it wouldn’t even make sense to wait five years, or to wait until his appeals run out.

Trump has possibly the finest legal team in the world, does anyone actually think he made this decision rashly without consulting them as to the constitutionality and legality?

Trump is also being accused of obstruction of justice for asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously if the DOJ could drop the prosecution. There was nothing wrong with this. As president, Trump is over the DOJ, which reports to him. If he saw the prosecution as a politically motivated vendetta by out-of-control prosecutors, he is perfectly within his rights to shut it down.

It’s really easy to pretend to take the high moral ground and criticize Trump for pardoning Arpaio. No one wants to be a target of the left in an area where they’ve had a lot of success lately demonizing people. But when is someone going to stand up to the race bullies? We saw people of all races working together during Hurricane Harvey. This country doesn’t have horrible race relations. Instead, it has former Nazi collaborator George Soros funding racial violence in order to demonize the right, falsely claim we’re the neo-Nazis and create the impression we have race wars. What’s next, renaming Washington, D.C. and Washington state? Do blacks with last names like Washington and Jefferson change their names? First they came for Arpaio. Who are they coming for next, people descended from slave owners (who have probably discovered through DNA tests recently that they are part black)?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

AZ Child Welfare Agency Takes Child From Loving Family, Places Her in Horrifically Abusive Foster Care

This isn’t supposed to happen. Child welfare agencies are supposed to take children outof abusive situations, not put them into ones.

Arizona’s Department of Child Safety wrongly took a little girl away from her parents and placed her with a foster parent who ran a pornographic pedophile ring and committed sexual misconduct against a minor. They also placed her with a woman who burnt her over 80 percent of her body with scalding water.
Beth Breen, who transported Devani back and forth to her parents for visitation when they were allowed to see her, said, “What they [DCS] were trying to protect her FROM is the exact thing that they did to her.”
The scandal came to light when the girl’s court-appointed guardian sued the state over the harm. (The guardian is different from the court-appointed attorney, who’s a defendant in the suit for her alleged part in Devani’s mistreatment.)

The complaint alleges that the state “removed Jane Doe from her home and her biological mother based on a fear of potential harm.” There was “never any abuse proven nor demonstrated.”

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

Friday, August 25, 2017

Time For Maricopa County Supervisors To Put Past Away, Honor Assurances

Almost eight years later, Rachel Alexander and Lisa Aubuchon are still suffering from retaliation by the former Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for their roles in representing Sheriff Joe Arpaio alongside his attorney and their boss, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Despite the fact that the two women were merely collateral damage in a political tug-of-war, the bureaucrats, working in the County’s Risk Management Department, are still racking up legal fees for the taxpayers.
Those bureaucrats are refusing to pay the cost of the disciplinary proceedings against the two former public servants, which cost them their licenses to practice law. Until those costs are paid, the Arizona State Bar will not consider readmitting them. Aubuchon has been forced to work as a paralegal. Alexander works as a journalist, unable to make payments on her ballooning law school loans. Thomas cannot practice law either (he is not part of the litigation but is also required to pay the $101,500).
The County claims that there was no employment contract between the two with the County, so the County’s insurance doesn’t cover it. This is preposterous. Both Alexander and Aubuchon were merit protected (covered) employees. They weren’t merely at will employees, employees on probation, or temporary employees. They had the fullest level of an employment contract possible.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Trump’s Rally in Phoenix Full of Optimism, Refutes Charlottesville Criticism

Speaking in one of his most supportive states, President Donald Trump criticized the mainstream media for its unfair coverage of his response to the riot in Charlottesville and discussed what he’s accomplished during his eight months in office.
A lively crowd of 15,000 in Phoenix, Arizona, listened to the president. A couple thousand protesters stood outside yelling and chanting. Arizona is a fairly red state, not known for large left-wing protests. The temperature stayed around 100 degrees well into the evening.

Trump’s Response to Charlottesville

Trump refuted criticism that he did not denounce racism strongly enough after the Charlottesville riot. Notably, two prominent speakers were black.
Reminiscent of her famous uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alveda King criticized the embracing of racial division. Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing of Urban Development, also spoke.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Rep. Trent Franks calls for President Trump to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Mitchell Hailstone
8/17/2017
   (202) 225-4576


A Legacy Of Law and Order Deserves Better
Washington, D.C. – According to recent reports, President Donald Trump may soon issue a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff found guilty for defying a state judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants. Arpaio continued the law enforcement patrols for 17 months after the 2011 order was issued. The former sheriff explains he did not intend to break the law – he misunderstood the full measure of restrictions contained in the order. In reaction to the possible presidential pardon, Congressman Trent Franks issued the following statement:

“Sheriff Arpaio has been a long-respected member of the law enforcement community who has dedicated his life to keeping Arizona communities safe. He has no prior convictions, no criminal record, no record of wrongs. In his twilight years, he deserves to retire peacefully and enjoy the satisfaction of a hard-earned and honorable retirement.
“Let us have an honest moment – this has been a political prosecution from the beginning. The real reason Arpaio is in legal trouble right now is because a Clinton-appointed judge decided to issue a judgment that contradicted every single witness that testified in the case.
“Pardoning Sheriff Arpaio would be celebrated by Arizonans that appreciate and respect a man who has accomplished so much for law and order in our state. It would absolutely be the right thing for President Trump to pardon Sheriff Joe.”

###
Congressman Trent Franks is serving his eighth term in Congress and sits on the House Judiciary Committee and is the former chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Justice and the Constitution.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

BREAKING: Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio Re-Files His Campaign Committee, Starts With $462k In Bank

Some excerpts from the article -

Arizona's Politics has learned the 85-year old Arpaio re-filed his Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio campaign committee the day after the contempt hearing ended. Arpaio terminated his campaign committee on July 7, after losing his bid for a 7th term as Sheriff last November. That termination explained that he had had $462,049.01 left in the bank. Arizona law gives a candidate several options in how to dispose of surplus funds; Arpaio chose to transfer it to a new version of the "Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio" committee. The paperwork for that new committee was posted yesterday afternoon by the Maricopa County Elections Department, although it was apparently filed on July 7. The next election for Maricopa County Sheriff is in 2020. (Sheriff Paul Penzone filed his new paperwork on July 12, and has $25,100.92 in the bank as of July 1.) The former long-time Sheriff signed on again as Chair of the new "Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio" committee. Arpaio has until early 2020 to make up his mind about whether he wants his name on the primary election ballot, but this new filing keeps his options open and allows him to collect and spend money for a campaign.

From Arizona's Politics

Friday, August 4, 2017

More corruption emerges surrounding bogus AZDES audit

An excerpt from the article at the Arizona Daily Independent
---
As an example, the audit found that Dennis Young, who was brought in to replace former DES Inspector General Jay Arcellana, brought order to the Department by instituting a system to log training for the security guards.

Contrary to that claim, a recording of Young was captured by DES employees informing Young upon his arrival in early December 2016 that Jeffries’ crew had installed the system and it was being used to log training for the security guards and eventually the sworn investigators within OIG.
---
As the ADI reported some months ago, the audit was written in such a way as to cast blame on Jeffries’ crew for the very system failures created by past administrations they were trying to cure.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Judge, Not Jury, Finds Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Guilty of Criminal Contempt

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton found former Sheriff Joe Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt. This was related to the Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff’s efforts to enforce laws against illegal immigration. He will be sentenced in October for the misdemeanor.
She had denied his request for a jury trial. This is odd since it was a criminal charge.
Left-wing activists have been targeting Arpaio through the legal system. They are unhappy with his efforts to reduce illegal immigration. He began them in the mid-2000s. He helped pass four ballot measures targeting illegal immigration in 2006. At the same time, he started arresting illegal immigrants under Arizona’s felony human smuggling law. They “conspired to smuggle themselves,” he said.

Melendres v. Arpaio and Judge Murray Snow’s Role

In 2008, activists filed a lawsuit against Arpaio, Melendres v. Arpaio. They charged him with racial profiling. U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow told Arpaio to stop racially profiling illegal immigrants at the sheriff’s office. He was charged with criminal contempt when he supposedly did not do so.

Wrongly fired AZDES Director Tim Jeffries starts process to sue the state for multiple false statements

For Immediate Release: Jeffries Files Notice of Claim For False Statement In DPS DES Audit
Contact: Thomas C. Horne, Esq., Horne Slaton, Phone (480) 483-2178

Former Arizona Attorney General, the Honorable Thomas C. Horne, Esq., has filed a Notice of Claim on behalf of former DES Director Timothy Jeffries against the State of Arizona. The Notice of Claim addresses false statements contained in the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Firearms Program Audit of Arizona DES released on July 7, 2017. The Notice reads in part:

• The report stated that Jeffries carried a gun on state property. That was FALSE.

• The report stated the Jeffries wanted to arm every DES employee. That was FALSE.

• The report stated the Jeffries wanted to create his own police force and control it. That was FALSE.

• The report stated that Jeffries was involved in ammunition planning procurement and storage. That was FALSE.

• The report stated that Jeffries regularly took ammunition from the DES inventory that was FALSE.

• The report stated that Jeffrey's went to a gun range on a weekly basis. That was FALSE.

• The report stated the Jeffries would leave work early to go to a gun range. That was FALSE.

• The report stated Jeffries openly proclaimed to be going to the shooting range to shoot DES inventory. That was FALSE.

• There were other false statements in the report. The author of the report and witnesses quoted in the report or cited in the report and other State employees knew that the statements were false and acted with malice.

Congressman Trent Franks calls on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to Resign


Congressman Trent Franks calls on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to Resign
Contact:  Mitchell Hailstone

Citing violation of the law, Congressman Franks posits Mueller clearly has a legal “conflict of interest”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senior Republican member Congressman Trent Franks, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, called upon Robert Mueller to resign as Special Counsel for Russia Investigation, citing violation of the law governing the special counsel (28 CFR 600.7) that prohibits Mueller from serving if he has a “conflict of interest.” As the rule has been interpreted, even the appearance of a conflict is sufficient for qualifying as a violation. The same Code of Federal Regulations defines what constitutes a conflict: “a personal relationship with any person substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution” (28 CFR 45.2). The same passage’s language is mandatory, saying the employee “shall” disqualify himself – not “may” or “should.”

As it has been revealed and reported extensively, Robert Mueller has enjoyed a long, close relationship with former FBI Director James Comey since at least 2003. Here is Congressman Franks’ call for Mueller’s resignation:

“Bob Mueller is in clear violation of federal code and must resign to maintain the integrity of the investigation into alleged Russian ties. Those who worked under them have attested he and Jim Comey possess a close friendship, and they have delivered on-the-record statements effusing praise of one another.

“No one knows Mr. Mueller’s true intentions, but neither can anyone dispute that he now clearly appears to be a partisan arbiter of justice. Accordingly, the law is also explicitly clear: he must step down based on this conflict of interest.

“Already, this investigation has become suspect – reports have revealed at least four members of Mueller’s team on the Russia probe donated to support Hillary Clinton for President, as President Trump pointed out. These obviously deliberate partisan hirings do not help convey impartiality.”

“Until Mueller resigns, he will be in clear violation of the law, a reality that fundamentally undermines his role as Special Counsel and attending ability to execute the law."


###
Congressman Trent Franks is serving his eighth term in Congress and sits on the House Judiciary Committee and is the former chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Justice and the Constitution.

Congressman Trent Franks | www.franks.house.gov | 202-225-4576

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sleazy 'audit' performed on former AZDES Director's attempt to put together an internal security force

Wow this is about the sleaziest "audit" I have ever seen. Obviously someone is trying to cover up something, trying to make former AZDES Director Tim Jeffries look bad, who was arguably the best government reformer Arizona has ever had. Excellent reporting by Loretta Vosberg Hunnicutt of the Arizona Daily Independent getting to the bottom of it, since the Arizona Repugnant has dishonestly reported on this all along. This is one story that I'm going to continue exposing until Jeffries is exonerated.

DPS Audit Of DES Raises Questions, Provides Few Answers

---
Nearly 7 months after DES interim Inspector General Dennis Young advised multiple people that the audit was complete and found the claims to be baseless, the audit released on Friday included the finding that ammunition was purchased in violation of state law and an “excessive” amount of ammunition had been procured.
---
What is known is that the auditor never interviewed Jeffries or Collier and included statements attributed to witnesses, who now deny they ever made the statements. What is also known is that the auditor makes claims about records and other documents that conflict with the records included in the audit.
---
The audit concluded that the Department had 2000 rounds of ammunition per security staff member. That allocation would be “per armed employee at the time,” responded Loftus by email. However, 12 new security staff members were to begin work the Monday following his termination “With 12 more armed employees, within 90 days 50 more armed employees were to be hired, and procurement time was in excess of 60 days from request to delivery. This analysis is very deceptive and certainly a dishonest method of reporting any type of investigation,” explained Loftus.
---
The audit reports that interim assistant chief Inspector General Carlos Contreras made the claim that he and Loftus talked Jeffries out of a scheme to arm every DES employee. Not only does Jeffries deny that he ever wanted every employee armed, but both Contreras and Jeffries deny that the conversation ever occurred.
---
Among the other more bizarre claims in the audit is that of the 55 handguns purchased for 28 armed security officers and 23 sworn law enforcement personnel, three were carried by Jeffries, Collier and Arcellana.
---
Yet according to Collier, “I was never interviewed in regards to this audit. Had I been interviewed, I would have gladly sworn under oath that I never, not once, carried a firearm at DES or any other state facility, even though I did in fact have my LEOSA certification.
---
Loftus says he “never saw Jeffries carrying a pistol.” Jeffries denied carrying a firearm while working at DES.


Read the rest of the article at The Arizona Daily Independent 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Arizona Welfare Agency Bans Political and Religious Speech

Shortly after its Roman Catholic director was fired by the governor, the Arizona Department of Economic Security implemented a policy incredibly — and unconstitutionally — imposing a sweeping ban on religious and political speech. This was done in order to squelch the culture that beloved and popular Tim Jeffries had cultivated at the agency. Jeffries was not afraid of displaying his devout Christianity and love for the First Amendment in public. He was fond of saying “Blessings” and prominently featured the state’s motto, Ditat Deus, which means God enriches, around the office. He also often quoted consequential figures (such as Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama and Mahatma Ghandi) to emphasize the imperative of serving the poor, afflicted and disadvantaged with love, care and respect.

For that and more, Jeffries was slandered by employees and bureaucrats with grudges, who complained to organizations like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the Secular Coalition of Arizona. Despite the fact Jeffries was the top reformer in Arizona State Government (in my opinion and many others concur), cleaning up the bloated welfare agency and increasing morale by large margins, the governor caved in to pressure and fired him the day before last Thanksgiving. While director of the agency, Jeffries reduced the agency headcount by 2 percent and planned additional streamlining to free up more resources for 1.6 million Arizonans who need the agency. Jeffries fired employees who bullied and harassed other employees. He fired employees who were not performing. He had employees who stole from the agency arrested. Jeffries even dared to go after a corrupt Democratic legislator who was illegally taking food stamps (an investigation that his predecessor squelched), and other high-profile investigations were progressing at the time of his firing.

Over 1,000 employees contacted Jeffries sympathetically after he was fired, he’d made such a difference. Many remain fiercely loyal to the reformer, and contact him regularly. DES employees have even hosted Jeffries for lunches, cocktails and dinners to thank him for his vigorous and loving efforts on their behalves. Jeffries was likely the governor’s only agency director to fulfill the governor’s directive to significantly reduce agency costs by rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. Every termination was legal in the right to work State of Arizona. Every quote Jeffries shared was constitutional in our United States of America.

Last week, part of what appears to be new guidelines for training approximately 8,000 DES employees throughout Arizona was leaked to the media. The revised policy bans religious speech within the agency. It states, “Topic of Religion is no longer allowed in class or in the office.” Specifically, “No religious quotes,” “No religious sayings,” and “Avoid mentioning blessings.” Incredibly, the policy doesn’t stop there. It goes on to ban all political speech, “No mention of politics.” Might as well pile on, squelching both clauses of the First Amendment while you’re at it. 

I asked DES if the document was distributed to all employees. Bizarrely, a spokesperson responded and said it was merely “partial meeting notes taken by a staff member during a staff meeting for one training unit within the Office of Professional Development.” If those are “notes,” that’s one incredible note taker; the document is professionally organized with subheadings, section numbers and letters, bullet points and titles. Even if was merely notes from a meeting, the verbal instructions to employees still trample on the First Amendment. 

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled extensively in this area. According to The First Amendment Center, “Public employees … can speak about religious matters in the workplace to a certain degree, particularly if the speech is not communicated to the general public.” In fact, the Center says they are generally even permitted to go as far as proselytizing, unless a fellow employee asks them to stop. 

The First Amendment specifically protects political and religious speech more than other types of speech. In the 1983 case Connick v. Meyers, the Supreme Court opined, “When employee expression cannot be fairly considered as relating to any matter of political, social, or other concern to the community, government officials should enjoy wide latitude in managing their offices, without intrusive oversight by the judiciary in the name of the First Amendment.”

I have worked for multiple government agencies, and politics and religion were popular topics between me and my co-workers around the water cooler. When I worked for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, there was an outcry because then-Attorney General Janet Napolitano merely tried to limit Christmas decorations to employees’ individual work areas. Employees from my section of the office responded by displaying Happy Holidays from the Loch Ness monster taped to a sorry looking plant located in a public area that looked like the mythical creature and Season’s Greetings from Bigfoot, with a horribly drawn sketch by yours truly if I remember correctly. 

How did this blatantly unconstitutional policy get put into place? Who drafted and approved it? There is no way Arizona Governor Doug Ducey — who is a Republican and Catholic — approved of something that clearly violates the Constitution. Someone in management at DES clearly has an ax to grind, and they apparently don’t care if it means trampling on the First Amendment rights of probably all 8,000-plus DES employees and contractors just to destroy the lasting legacy Jeffries created, where employees were appreciated and loved their jobs. Not to mention the cost to taxpayers if the agency is sued. 

DES management needs to rescind the offensive policy. Otherwise, do not be surprised if religious liberty and free speech organizations like First Liberty and the Alliance Defending Freedom — the latter which is headquartered in Arizona — escalate this to a constitutional lawsuit. As they should. If this trampling of our rights can occur in in a lone state government agency, it will continue elsewhere.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Attorney for Republican Party who was politically targeted by State Bar & its disciplinary judge speaks out

This is a comment Karyl Krug left on the Arizona Supreme Court's website in regards to proposed rule changes with the State Bar.
---
To the Honorable Supreme Court: Any idea to make permanent any position in the Arizona State Bar disciplinary system is a terrible idea. The system is already expensive, unfair, and rife with due process problems. One of them is the ADPCC. Making membership on that committee permanent will only make a bad situation much worse. The problems are: 

1) Lawyers have no opportunity to be heard in person with their counsel prior to the ADPCC making a decision. A lawyer should be able to appear before this committee before the committee issues an opinion. This is a due process issue that can only be made worse by having a permanent committee of people answerable to nobody, free to make factual findings and legal conclusions that are erroneous. They do not entertain any motion for rehearing, so there is no way to correct the problem after that, except to appeal, at which point your bar charge becomes a public record in the Presiding Disciplinary Judge's court files. 

2) Judge O'Neill, who apparently has a permanent position, said in the CLE "A Lawyer's Day In Court," "You do not want to see me." That is quite literally the first time in my 23 year career that I have heard a "neutral and detached magistrate" say something like that. He said many unusual things. He speculated that narcissism might render an attorney unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions, and may, therefore, excuse a lawyer's culpability for stealing from his client. A lawyer who repeatedly committed DUI was no danger to the public. He stated that attorneys are not entitled to proportional punishment, which contradicts what a panel prosecutor said. Apparently the ADPCC follows that same rule. One lawyer can get a year of probation for 10 years of deliberate and egregious misconduct in death penalty cases, while another lawyer can get twice that punishment, after the prosecutor recommended deferral and dismissal, for 16 pages of pleadings in a pro bono case that aren't great but aren't bad enough to warrant public humiliation, which the ADPCC is allowed to rain down on a attorney whether it is fair or not. 

3) The entire system is inquisitional. According to "A Lawyer's Day In Court," once the Bar elevates a a charge to the formal investigation level, many lawyers have reviewed the bar charge and you definitely did something wrong. Any attempt to defend yourself, explain yourself, or put things in context is considered a lack of remorse. This includes lying by the complainant or anybody else in the legal case, and egregious judicial errors that impacted your legal judgment in the case. The only acceptable response to a formal bar investigation is "real remorse." As Judge O'Neill said, your first response to the bar charge will be weighed heavily against you; even if the bar charge is hundreds of pages long and you have no idea what you are supposed to have done wrong. The Arizona State Bar has managed to take one ABA mitigating factor, remorse, and elevate it to a procedural requirement for an accused lawyer. So much for a lawyer's due process right to be heard. There is incredible pressure to confess to whatever you have been accused of and otherwise keep your mouth shut. The ADPCC needs to have its members rotated out until someone who understands the minimal due process to which lawyers are entitled makes his/her way onto the ADPCC. 

In a book I read while researching the origins of due process for an article about this situation, "The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual," the Spanish Inquisition is described as a process governed by laws and procedures, “Confession was required before the sin of heresy could be forgiven . . . and yet confession alone was never enough. The confession had to be abject, earnest, and complete . . . the will of the victim to resist had to be utterly crushed, his or her sense of self eradicated, and the authority of the interrogator acknowledged as absolute.” “[T]he workings of the Inquisition were subject to canon law and papal oversight,” staffed by “apparatchiks in a fixed bureaucracy.” The alleged purpose of the Inquisition, just like this bar disciplinary process, was to “educate” the accused who had allegedly strayed from the fold. 

And so, for centuries, a fixed bureaucracy designed to make accused persons wrong has been a discredited idea. And it is so very easy to make another human being wrong. As I told many clients over the years, just because you should win does not mean you will win. The real question is, will they let you win? 

4) Unlike criminals, lawyers are not entitled to specific performance. After spending $20,000 and not even getting to trial in front of a judge who warned "you do not want to see me," I cut a deal I could live with with the bar prosecutor. Judge O'Neill accepted the deal, but then wrote a non-conforming published opinion, in what was supposed to be an unpublished disposition, reinstating the ADPCC's bad opinion. So the word "unpublished" only pertains to the bar journal. Judge O'Neill, even when he does not see you, can publish anything they wants to about you. In my case, I found out my unpublished deal had a non-conforming published opinion attached to it because a national blog that scans Judge O'Neill's site picked it up and wrote about it. So my appeal of the ADPCC's erroneous opinion was pointless; but, after I explained things, the national blog took the blog post down, not wanting to be accused of false light defamation, for which bar disciplinary actors here are immune. In other states, they and the complainant can be sued for defaming attorneys. In my case, there is a public file containing a document accusing me of extortion for all the world to read. 

The joke is on me. I could spend another $100,000 trying to straighten all this out, but, given the propensity of Arizona to do the wrong thing where I am concerned, ever since I reported grant fraud and UPL in five years of death penalty cases to the AZ Bar in 2012, I firmly believe that the only possible chance I have for a just result is if lightning strikes and the United States Supreme Court grants a cert petition. I could be 70 years old by then. 

My lawyer also strenuously advised me not to appeal further, because all roads lead back to Judge "You Do Not Want To See Me" O'Neill. I could spent another $50,000 and be right back where I was when the ADPCC rendered its first opinion, which was published before the time to appeal had even run. 

Arizona ethics attorneys here, an approved list of whom are sent you with your bar charge at the investigation stage for your convenience (you get a free one hour consultation!), are powerless to do much more than butter up their connections and assist accused attorneys in expressing "real remorse." No matter how much you like them personally or how nice they are, they help you prosecute yourself so the Bar, the ADPCC, etc., don't have to work too hard. I have no doubt that I made admissions on the advice of counsel that are not even true. That is an easy was to make $300-500 an hour. I would love a well-paying gig like that, except that I would hate myself for doing it. One ethics defense attorney tried to set up a prosecution ring when he was state bar president in the 1970s. He was not prosecuted or found unethical by the bar, and has since been the recipient of many bar ethics award. You can read that story in a book, "The Arizona Project," by investigative reporters who descended on Phoenix after reporter Don Bolles was murdered in a car bombing. Since the sub rosa set of rules set out in "A Lawyer's Day In Court" are "mysterious" and not written down anywhere, I think a lot of confused and angry attorneys finally break down and hire a lawyer because they have no idea what is going on, except that it is maddening and unfair. You start to feel like a trapped animal. So even your lawyer has a vested interest in seeing that this truly dreadful system never changes, and in never upsetting this apple cart by making any constitutional objections to this system. 

I even had a case pending on appeal in the 9th Circuit, for First Amendment Retaliation, against certain judicial employees and one portion of this unified court system, which they did not deem to be a conflict of interest. I objected, and my objection was never addressed. I also objected that I had just testified against the Bar before they decided to elevate this matter to the formal investigation stage. I got a letter from Chief Bar Counsel asking me to waive confidentiality so he could explain the Bar's situation, which he insisted was not political, to the Arizona Senate. He is the same lawyer involved in covering up the UPL and grant fraud I reported to the Bar in 2012; he instructed UPL counsel not to put anything in writing. 

I know there are good judges and bar lawyers in this state, but the bad actors in positions of power have the ability to make lawyers' lives a living hell. Lawyers who fear their bar this much are bad for the public, as this situation undoubtedly dampens the rigor and passion with which some lawyers defend their clients. 

Everybody from your lawyer to the Arizona Supreme Court has bought into this well-oiled assembly line for punishing attorneys the Bar does not like., whether they are actual bad actors or merely irritants to the Bar. It is hard to believe that anyone could possibly propose any rule changes to make this system any worse, but that is exactly what you have here. Had I known in 2011 what I know about this Bar now, I would never have applied to be a member of the Arizona State Bar. At this moment I am seriously considering turning in my bar card, as I consider my entire bar disciplinary ordeal to be another act of First Amendment Retaliation, for my testimony against the Bar. It took an entire year to resolve a bar charge that was ultimately boiled down to 16 page of pleadings. Judge O'Neill found that I was incompetent to handle a First Amendment case, even though a week earlier I had won an appeal in a First Amendment case in the 9th Circuit, and I have a ton of civil litigation experience in state and federal court in another state. I had a spotless ethics record before moving here, I was well-respected in my field, and I had no quarrel of any kind, ever, with my former state bar. 

I was remorseful when my attorney and everybody else convinced me that I had made an egregious error. When, at the 11th hour, I was asked to re-brief the offending pleading myself (I thought one of my inquisitors had done this before), I realized that there was a good faith basis in law and fact for what was pled. Both the ADPCC and Judge O'Neill, who reinstated the erroneous ADPCC ruling, insisted that I had acted in bad faith. Even my sister's breast cancer was not considered a mitigating factor. 


Reprinted from http://www.azcourts.gov/Rules-Forum/aft/664#3364