Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas was stripped of his power to handle civil cases for the county by the Board of Supervisors during a short but feisty special meeting today.
Supervisor Don Stapley, whose indictment by Thomas' office was announced earlier this month, was among the five supervisors who voted unanimously to allow the board to hire outside lawyers.
The Phoenix New Times is also covering the ongoing feud that has the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors facing off against County Attorney Andrew Thomas and County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (with County Treasurer Charles Hoskins apparently uninvolved in this latest conflict, but generally opposing the supes).
Ray Stern of the New Times has perhaps one of the most apt description of Maricopa County's Republicans in his coverage of the latest events -
Maybe we're heading to a big showdown that will end with Thomas giving the sheriff the okay to arrest the supervisors. In this town, with this group of cannibalistic Republicans in charge, anything's possible.
"...Cannibalistic Republicans..." is perfect - they're eating their own.
As a Democrat, normally I'd just grab some popcorn and sit back to enjoy the carnage (with an eye toward some pick ups in 2010 and 2012), but with the county's finances in the toilet (as are the state's and pretty much every municipality in the state's), we can't afford this kind of petty squabbling. There's too much important work to be done.
Of course, this bunch was pretty bad in good times; there's no reason to believe that tough times will inspire them to competence and professionalism.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again -
Can both sides lose this one? Puhleeeze?