Disbarred Arpaio Ally Says Arizona ‘Has Become Mexico’

Former Arizona prosecutor Andrew Thomas lashed out on Wednesday at the state for stripping him of license to practice law the day before, saying Arizona had become as corrupt as Mexico.

“Arizona, after what happened yesterday, has become Mexico,” Thomas said at a news conference in Phoenix. “Powerful politicians twice indicted for corruption have gone free…Insiders who knew how the system works and how to work the system have had a field day.”

First elected as the top Maricopa County prosecutor in 2004, Thomas was a longtime ally of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He was disbarred for what ethics investigators described as a crusade to jail and embarrass the reputations of anyone that dared to oppose him or Arpaio.

Thomas said at the news conference that he plans to return to politics despite the disbarment. He said he planned to organize a measure to appear on the 2012 ballot that would address what he believes is continued widespread problems in Arizona.

“Unless we want Arizona to become as corrupt as Mexico, the people of Arizona must act,” he said.

He also revealed that he plans to tell his story in a forthcoming book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com
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