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Apr 26 2012

Arizona Gov. Appoints Arpaio Ally to State Board

On a list of Republican governors that includes Scott Walker of Ohio, Rick Scott of Florida and Jon Kasich of Ohio, Arizona’s Jan Brewer may be the worst of a bad bunch. Now she’s appointed an ally of Joe Arpaio — one so bad that even the recently disbarred Andrew Thomas fired him — to a state realty board.

File this one under “outrage du jour”: Dennis Wilenchik, the former special prosecutor whose runaway investigation of New Times resulted in the wrongful arrests of Village Voice Media Editor Michael Lacey and VVM CEO Jim Larkin, has been appointed by Governor Jan Brewer to sit on Arizona’s Real Estate Advisory Board. ..

The appointment of Wilenchik to any position involving the “interests of the public” is troubling, as he was fired in 2007 by his former boss, now disbarred and disgraced ex-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, less than 24 hours after the nighttime arrests of Lacey and Larkin by MCSO thugs on bogus misdemeanor charges.

Those arrests caused an unprecedented public outcry, which forced Thomas to end the probe of New Times and ax Wilenchik, who was his hand-picked attack schnauzer. Wilenchik, however, continued to represent the county in civil cases.

Wilenchik’s investigation of New Times was part witchhunt, part vendetta, all over a 2004 article looking into Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s real estate deals by New Times reporter John Dougherty. In that piece, Dougherty revealed Arpaio’s home address, as it was the only address available through public records. Arpaio had ordered the addresses of all his other holdings redacted.

It’s not against the law to publish such an address in print, but there is an obscure Arizona law, unknown to Dougherty at the time, which makes it illegal to post a cop’s home address online.

Arpaio had been seeking indictments against New Times for a couple of years for this supposed crime, but he couldn’t get a county attorney to touch the matter, until Thomas took up the cudgel.

Thomas was Wilenchik’s ex-employee, and so Thomas empowered his pal to go after New Times. Though a grand jury had yet to be empaneled, Wilenchik nevertheless issued subpoenas in the grand jury’s name.

This is exactly what Thomas was recently disbarred for, using his office to punish the political opponent of Arpaio with trumped-up criminal charges and official harassment. Now one of his attack dogs has an official state appointment.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    slc1

    When even Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell doesn’t make the list of fuckoff Rethuglican governors, it just shows how bad the bunch is.

  2. 2
    slc1

    Of course, Virginia is working on it as Koo Koo Ken Cuccinelli is planning to run for governor next hear (McDonnell can’t run for reelection). Now there’s a real two fisted shithead.

  3. 3
    theschwa

    Ohio is in such bad shape because we have 2 governors. Even worse, they are Scott Walker and Jon Kasich.

  4. 4
    d cwilson

    Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett must thank his lucky stars ever day that the national media has not been paying much attention to his antics compared to his counterparts.

  5. 5
    Ed Brayton

    “Two fisted shithead” is now my favorite phrase. Love it. It would make a great band name too.

  6. 6
    coffeehound

    Damn, from Pearce to Thomas, now to Wilenchik.
    Every time we succeed in throwing the ethically-challenged out and I think the system works, they come back.
    Like herpes.
    A quick search among Arizona rags fails to reveal much fanfare about this appointment.
    Wonder why.
    It’s like a house completely overrun by roaches, I just want to leave and let them have it, sometimes.

  7. 7
    theguy

    Just a nit-pick, but Scott Walker is the governor of Wisconsin, not Ohio. Although he is definitely a terrible governor, and I hope we replace him in June.

  8. 8
    Crudely Wrott

    The inevitable association is between Arpaio and the little ghostly character in the comic Family Circus who is so aptly named Not Me.

  9. 9
    ricko

    ” Scott Walker of Ohio”

    Yeah, second time today someone has got this wrong (Charles Pierce has him in Michigan), he’s currently the Governor from Wisconsin…

    And we’ll get him gone in June.

  10. 10
    D. C. Sessions

    Every time we succeed in throwing the ethically-challenged out and I think the system works, they come back.

    They’re Arizona’s main renewable resource.

    I just want to leave and let them have it, sometimes.

    This year I took the first step to actually escape. It’ll take a while, but the goal is closer than before. And I’ve lived here for 60 years.

  11. 11
    snebo154

    I live in Arizona and as I read the teaser and clicked the “read more” button I wasn’t really expecting anything earth shattering. I should have known better, this is after all Arizona. I can only describe my reaction as total disbelief. I actually sat up and reread the name to make sure I was really seeing it. I don’t think people outside of AZ. have any idea of just how bad this bastard is. In a state full of bigots, morons and Hitler wannabes this guy still stands out. He tried to put two very good men in prison for literally no reason whatsoever and tried to enforce a subpoena for the records of everyone who had ever been to the newspaper’s website. This guy is a major evil fuckstick. I honestly thought that he had been indicted on felony charges over the “New Times” debacle and the fact that Brewer would appoint him to any post at all is worthy of the term “atrocity”. I have lived in this state for 50 of my 55 years and I am now even more pleased to announce that as of June first this year, I am out of here, probably for good. There are things that I will miss. State government is not one of them.

  12. 12
    democommie

    I think the “Walker, governor of Ohio” thing should have been seen to be sarcasm. Even I know that Ohio can’t have TWO governors at once. Otoh, if I had as bad a governor as Scott Walker I’d be happy if he was shitcanned to another location.;)

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