FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 10, 2012
Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 602.340.7335, Mobile: 602.513.6385
Attorneys Disciplined for Using Positions to Punish Adversaries
PHOENIX - April 10, 2012 - A three-member disciplinary panel has ordered attorneys Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon be disbarred for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. A third attorney, Rachel Alexander, will be suspended for six months and one day.
The panel found that Thomas and Aubuchon used their positions as Maricopa County attorney and deputy county attorney to target political enemies. A 247 page order details how they ignored conflicts of interest and used their positions to burden and embarrass targeted individuals. The order also states they violated the Rules of Professional Conduct relating to perjury and violating court rules. Alexander, who also worked as a deputy county attorney, was found to have filed a lawsuit without completing a proper factual investigation.
The case was tried over nine weeks before a hearing panel comprised of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge and two volunteer panel members (one attorney and a member of the public). Forty-eight witnesses testified and nearly 6,200 pages of exhibits were admitted.
In its ruling, the panel stated, "this case is replete with intentionally orchestrated malignant actions." It went on to state that there was an "absence of ethical behavior."
The sanctions are scheduled to take effect on May 10, 2012. Thomas, Aubuchon and Alexander have 10 days to decide whether they will appeal the rulings to the Arizona Supreme Court. If they choose to do so, they can also request the discipline be stayed until the appeal is heard.
Read the panel's final order.
About the State Bar
The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar includes approximately 16,900 active attorneys and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public. Since 1933 the Bar and its members have been committed to serving the public by making sure the voices of all people in Arizona are heard in our justice system.
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