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Disbarred Thomas proclaims his innocence

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One day after being disbarred by a panel that ruled he wrongly brought criminal charges against two county officials and a judge, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is speaking out.

With protesters and supporters surrounding him, Thomas told reporters that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors prevented him from having a fair hearing.

“I couldn’t even be properly represented in front of this tribunal that led to this decision because they fired my first two sets of lawyers,” said Thomas, standing outside the building that houses Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s offices.

“My third set of lawyers, they (the supervisors) refused to pay to the point that they filed a motion to withdraw. They deliberately disrupted my legal defense in front of this tribunal.”

Thomas insists that he did nothing wrong. “I testified for a day and a half under oath, I testified in a deposition, I’m speaking to you here. Is this how somebody who believes he’s committed wrongful acts or criminal acts behaves? Of course not,” said Thomas.

“I did my job, and we were stymied at every step of the way.”

Thomas was disbarred after the panel ruled that he wrongly brought criminal charges against two county officials and a judge in December 2009.

He has not decided whether he will appeal. He has until next week to do so.

Former Deputy County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon was also disbarred. She says she will appeal her case.

Meanwhile, Thomas says he’ll continue to fight against corruption in Maricopa County.

“I will soon announce an effort to seek voter approval for reforms to fight corruption and improve our government,” says Thomas. “I will also have more to say in my forthcoming book as well.”

Randy Parraz of the group Citizens for a Better Arizona was among those in attendance.

“It was a little comical,” Parraz said of the proceedings. “People who do their job do not get disbarred. Thomas is someone who enjoyed the limelight, doing all of these different things, running with Sheriff Arpaio and violated the law.”

“This is justice due,” Parraz said. “Long overdue.”