Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Criminal Complaint Filed against Presiding Criminal Judge


County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced today that a criminal complaint has been filed against Judge Gary Donahoe for hindering prosecution, obstruction of justice and bribery. The counts involve the alleged obstruction of a criminal inquiry into the new Court Tower involving the Superior Court, the Board of Supervisors, and their shared law firm, along with other acts.

Judge Donahoe had scheduled a hearing today on the Board of Supervisors’ unprecedented request that the County Attorney be barred from prosecuting them or other county employees for any crime. Such a hearing, which the County Attorney’s Office regards as illegal, has apparently never before been held in Arizona history. It would have allowed, and all but ensured, that ongoing grand-jury matters, which are confidential by state statute, be aired in front of criminal defendants and suspects. Judge Donahoe now has vacated the hearing.

Thomas stated, “When persons who are charged with enforcing the law willfully misuse that authority to protect themselves or their benefactors from investigation or prosecution for possible crimes, that conduct will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.”

Arpaio stated, “I have many officers working in the court system who have an ongoing relationship with the judiciary. Today’s events pertaining to Judge Donahoe are unfortunate and difficult. But it is our joint duty to uphold the law. When one fails to do so, one must be held accountable.”

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