From AZCentral.com -
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has instructed the treasurer and top county officials not to pay the fees of private attorneys hired by the Board of Supervisors.
Thomas also warned that each could be held personally liable for recovery of the money. The Board of Supervisors on Dec. 5 voted to have outside attorneys investigate whether Thomas should stop providing legal advice to the board on civil matters while prosecuting Supervisor Don Stapley in criminal court.
It's somewhat unclear if Thomas has the authority to order the County to not pay its bills.
OK, it's not unclear - he's the County Attorney, not the head of the Finance Department. He only has responsibility for his own agency and nothing more.
So...Whatthehell is Andrew Thomas trying to hide? And why is he resorting to threats to intimidate public officials, many of whom are his equals?
And the playground posturing isn't limited to Thomas - his saddle partner Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Treasurer Hoskins are getting in on the action, too.
Also from AZCentral.com -
Two elected Maricopa County officials are dragging their feet in helping the county deal with a budget shortfall.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Treasurer Charles "Hos" Hoskins refused to answer a request from the Board of Supervisors for belt-tightening.
Arpaio is refusing to make cuts because he considers the requested cuts (20%) to be "extreme and fiscally irresponsible" while Hoskins is even less subtle - he doesn't feel he has to make any cuts while the Board of Supes is under investigation.
Both are conveniently ignoring the facts.
Arpaio has brought on much of his own budget crisis with his wanton abuse of overtime pay to fund his anti-immigrant putsch and apparently Hoskins hasn't read the latest coverage from the Phoenix New Times that details the flimsiness of Thomas' and Arpaio's legal attack on Supervisor Don Stapley.
So let's see - the state is "sweeping" funds from all the accounts they can find to pay for their own deficit, including County accounts, every other County agency is facing severe cutbacks because of revenue shortfalls, and these clowns think that engaging in the political equivalent of screeching and feces flinging is the appropriate response when asked to do the same belt-tightening as everyone else?
BTW - Am I the only one who thinks that this situation could lead to a lot of work for the next U.S. Attorney for AZ? Or that come 2010, there are going to be a number of vacancies in county-level offices that will be up for election to two year terms?