A news story in this morning’s Arizona Republic, Thomas: Inquiry aims to hurt his campaign for AG, says that former Maricopa County-Attorney-turned-state-attorney-general-aspirant Andrew Thomas contends a state bar ethics investigation is stacked against him. Moreover, he maintains that it’s designed to derail his political ambitions to be Arizona’s next attorney general. We previously blogged about the appointment of Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Commission Counsel John Gleason to head up the investigation into Thomas. See Court names Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel to look into County Attorney Thomas.
Today’s Republic mentions that Thomas and his former lawyer, Ernest Calderon, believe there’s a conspiracy afoot between the Arizona Bar and Gleason. The paper quotes Calderon saying, “I can only speculate that he [Gleason] came down here and talked to some powers that be and they said, ‘You don’t understand, we have a predetermined result we need to get to.” Gleason was contacted by the paper but refused to respond to the conspiracy charge, deeming it “not worthy.”
It’s a bit of an ironic twist that Calderon now disparages the state bar’s inquiry since he was a former president of the Arizona State Bar. Calderon is no longer defending Thomas since the county managers who had been paying his bills have now fired him. Thomas and Calderon allege the termination was done to impede the defense.
Thomas also took issue with Gleason’s 3 week stay at the posh Arizona Biltmore resort while he conducted his investigation. Gleason said he got a deal on the hotel stay, paying only $89 per night. He also added that he was discounting his normal per hour fee to the bar by “hundreds of dollars,” only charging the bar $40 per hour.
As the bar’s inquiry into Thomas continues to heat up, it will be interesting to see how events unwind leading to a final determination both as to his continued status as a licensed Arizona lawyer and as a state electoral candidate. Meanwhile, for additional background on Gleason, the news and opinion website KnowYourCOURTS has written extensively and critically opined about the Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel.