Blurb:A three-person disciplinary panel of the state’s high court said there was enough evidence to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the sheriff and three of his closest allies participated in what the panel believes was federal crime in December 2009.
Last week, the Supreme Court’s disciplinary panel decided unanimously that Thomas and Aubuchon had violated enough ethics rules that they should lose their law licenses. But the panelists also made it clear in their 247-page ruling that they believed the sheriff was very much at the center of the wrongdoing. Arpaio’s name appeared 48 times in the document.
During testimony before the panel, Arpaio’s longtime chief deputy said the sheriff was the one who first came up with the idea of charging the judge with a crime to force him off the case. The others agreed, Hendershott said. The next day, the prosecutors filed a criminal charges against the judge, accusing him of bribery, obstruction of justice and hindering a prosecution. The prosecutors brought the charges “without a shred of evidence that Donahoe had committed any crime,” the ruling said. Starting on page 216, it revealed even more:
That plot, according to the panel, was a violation of federal law, specifically one that “makes it a crime to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate any person in the free exercise or enjoyment of a right or privilege secured to him by the US Constitution.”