This article is the follow up to the July 2012 piece, “Op-Ed: Maricopa County, AZ Seat to Unprecedented Judicial Corruption,”
Where it was reported in 2008 that Maricopa County Attorney, Andrew Thomas filed charges of corruption and racketeering in an attempt to bring several key people in Maricopa County government to justice.
What happened next is the pinnacle example of the damage that can be done when the power of the justice system is put in the wrong hands. Wheedled to destroy the life of one young, ambitious attorney. Rachel at the beginning of her career held limited resources and favors to fight back, making her a target. It is believed by this reporter that Rachel’s outspoken conservative activism is what drew the most attention to her. It was obvious during her questioning, as you will read later. It was her activism the questioners’ were most concerned with. It is also believed by this reporter, given the familiarity of the questioners with her writing, that they could possibly have been aware of her many articles and blog posts years before conducting the investigation. They were waiting for the opportune time. Given those who would orchestrate the attacks on her later.
Recap: Rachel Alexander in 2008 worked in the Maricopa County Attorney's (prosecutor’s0 office. Found herself becoming an unwilling participant in what would become a media circus. After charges were filed in 2009 by her then boss Andrew Thomas, against county supervisors and others, in April 2010, both Thomas and Alexander resigned, because Thomas was going to run for Attorney General, and Alexander, as a political appointee, realized she would be fired by any new administration. Stepping into an investigation launched by the Arizona Bar Association, for alleged ethics violations.
When the investigation went to trial, they were appointed a judge by the name of Bill O’Neil as disciplinary judge. The State Bar began prosecuting Thomas and his deputies in 2010. They put him under O'Neill for a reason, to ensure Thomas was disbarred. Reported in the American Post-Gazette. Who have been following all aspects of the case closely. One of the only honest media outlets on this case.
The given scale and weight against the judges and supervisors drew the attention of the Department of Justice (DOJ). At the time, a high-level former DOJ Attorney, Robert Driscoll, had agreed to represent yet another character in this story, whose career was on the line, Sheriff Arpaio, who stood with Thomas in his crusade to defeat the corrupt machine running Maricopa County. Stating the case had merit, he said he would urge the DOJ to take over the investigation; however, this cooperation never appeared.
The personal and professional campaign to destroy Alexander's career, integrity, and law practice began in June 2011, when the Arizona Bar Association prosecutors served her with overreaching interrogatories. Demanding disclosure of any blog posts she had ever written on the Internet in the past five years, anonymously or not – a gross infringement upon free speech. In the same month, hackers targeted her website, crashing it permanently in August of 2011.
On investigation, the IP address involved in the attack was traced back to none other than one of the county supervisor's offices. Alexander took prompt and proper action, reporting the attack to the FBI, Phoenix Police, and the Maricopa County Sheriff, but nothing was ever investigated. The hackers eventually destroyed her website, which received 4,000 unique visitors per day and had more than 6,000 pages of archives, forcing her to start rebuilding it from scratch.
On April 10, 2012, Judge Bill O'Neil and two other panelists of the Bar Association Disciplinary Board issued their decision. Alexander pointed out this journalist had penned several falsehoods and inaccuracies regarding their decision, and lies describing her participation in the case. However, as the hammer fell, both Thomas and Aubuchon (another attorney in the MCAO) were disbarred. They scheduled Alexander’s license to be suspended for six months plus one day, forcing her to take the bar exam again and reapply to be admitted to the bar association.
As part of her punishment by O’Neil, he ordered Rachel not to take any new clients, stopping her from making a living. Alexander filed her appeal, which the county supervisors refuse to fund, saying county insurance does not cover it since her behavior was so bad. One would have to question what definition of "bad" is guiding their decision. She filed a Notice of Claim against them in May 2012 demanding they fund her attorney on the appeal. It has been ignored, even though it is now July of 2013.
Which O’Neil turned down on the grounds that she had filed too close to the filing date. However, in an unprecedented change of events, due to a surprising reversal from the Arizona Supreme Court upon Alexander's appeal which she wrote pro se by herself, Judge O'Neill overturned his own decision on Attorney Alexander's original appeal filing. O'Neil allowed Alexander's original filing to stand and issued a stay on her suspension until the conclusion of the appeal process.
To understand how much corruption and ethical violations in which Judge O’Neil is involved in committing, I must present additional information with respect for briefly. In 2010, O’Neil was assigned to preside over an investigation handed down by the Grade Jury conducted by the Attorney General’s office
. To decide if the Statute of Limitations had run on the charges against Don Staple. (A.K.A. supposedly corrupt County Supervisor.)
Lisa Aubuchon, another Attorney in Thomas’s office, was disbarred in part, for allegedly bringing charges against Don Staple, after the Statute of Limitations had ended. This charge against Lisa was the rope Judge O’Neil’s was trying to hang Lisa with. Which sparked a Grand Jury investigation into her actions. However, this was untrue; her filling was within the limit. Saner minds prevailed, and they turned over the Grand Jury investigation into Aubuchon to the US Attorney’s Office. They threw out everything, exonerating Aubuchon a few weeks later; destroying O’Neil’s credible evidence in disbarring Lisa.
Judge O’Neil being involved in the Grand Jury investigation and Lisa’s disciplinary trial, was a clear conflict of interest. Aubuchon filed a motion to disqualify O’Neil from hearing her disciplinary case. O’Neil countered by issuing an order, refusing to recuse himself from Aubuchon’s case. In his order, O’Neil stated he was not involved in the Grand Jury proceeding against Aubuchon. They are now investigating O’Neil for ghostwriting legal pleadings as well. Additionally, it has also been reported the real estate commotion is investigating O’Neil for his involvement in a real estate short-sale on the behalf of his mother. The attorney that helped O’Neil with this, Christopher Perry
, killed a woman in a DUI hit and run. O’Neil allowed him to continue to practice law while in prison. Of this whole sordid story, this is perhaps the most egregious example of corruption.
Other blatant evidence of O’Neil’s unethical and perhaps criminal activities can be found throughout news, and information sits across the web. It gets interesting when one begins investigating into O’Neil’s friends. Especially as in Janet Napolitano, her ties to Arizona and long support of Judge Bill O’Neil. Back story, Janet Napolitano
graduated high school from Arizona. After law school, she served as a law clerk for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Then joined Schroeder's former firm, Lewis and Roca in Phoenix. In 1999 they appointed her U.S. Attorney of the District of Arizona. In 2002 Janet became Governor of Arizona. In turn appointed most of the judges currently siting in the bench in Arizona. She severed to terms before being appointed head of Department of home land security. Janet has a history with O’Neil, supporting his pet project Restorative justice; agreeing to be O’Neil’s key note speaker at a conference he called to speak of the virtues of restorative Justice. In closing then Governor Napolitano, praised the work Judge O’Neil was doing.
It is important to understand Janet’s ties to Maricopa County, and Judge O’Neil’s misplaced confidence in taking extreme latitude with the law to suit his needs, that anyone would find questionable. Why? Rachel Alexander is getting a $1,000.00 punishment for one of the most difficult charges to prove, ethics violation, which most likely equates to a 5.00 crime. The mainstream media has reported lately an open season on stout conservatives by the administration. Undoubtedly willing to operate at the local level to carry out their vendetta. It seems clear if one were to follow the serious of events starting with the charges being filed against the county supervisors. The appointment of O’Neil just at the right time, His wide interpretation of what should preclude fillings and deadlines. Which would indicate, if those are the only offenses he can come up with, to attack Attorney Alexander with. The rest with his allegations are weak and baseless at best.
Judge O’Neil’s ties to Napolitano may seem innocent however, not so much when we take the actions of this administration into account. They’re hatred for outspoken conservative personalities such as Rachel Alexander. It is not a reach to speculate there are those who would not think it extreme to have their agenda carried out. By like-minded puppets at the local level. As other conservatives have addressed. This administration’s tactics are to go after the individual rather than a group in the attempt to silence the conservative voice one at a time. They make easy targets as with Rachel Alexander. Who so tragically became the example.
The ridicule attorney Alexander
endures at the hands of what can only be described as Democratic liberal left continues. The reports of verbal abuse, attacks to her web site and more have gone UN-investigated by the local authorizes and the FBI. Why? During the onset of the trial why did the former DOJ offer help only to withdraw it without explanation? Why hasn’t Janet made the call to the DOJ to prompt a proper investigation in to the issue, one would think he would find important given her ties the state?
Individually, the evidence doesn’t offer itself to be more than a simple case of attorneys who didn’t follow the rules to prove a case. When one starts to piece together all the facts. A picture begins to form of it being much more.
Was Rachel an unknowing target of the administration? Was she set up from the beginning? Using the trumped-up charges of ethics violations as a rough by the administration ruin her? Destroy her credibly and ultimately into silence? There are enough facts at least to raise the question.
Update on Rachel’s case in her own words, “You may have heard that the Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled on my appeal over the Bar suspending my license for six months plus one day. The County Supervisors refused to fund my appeal, so I appealed it all myself (my lawyer would have charged $60,000, so that tells you how much work it was, ugh). The AZ Supreme Court reduced the suspension to six months, meaning I could be automatically readmitted to the Bar at the end after taking a few ethical classes, instead of requiring me to retake the Bar exam and reapply, and I've learned the state's Disciplinary judge William O'Neil NEVER lets anyone back in, so this was a small victory.”
Rachel has worked hard to recover her life after the events of the last several years. While Judge O’Neil and others continue with business as usual.
“The AZ Supreme Court's opinion is equally as bizarre as the Disciplinary judge's opinion! They used ONE, yes ONE, article that I posted on my website during the trial about the trial, written by John Hawkins of Right Wing News, as reason to exaggerate my sentence! If that isn't a gross infringement upon bloggers and free speech, I don't know what is, and just more evidence I was targeted for being a conservative blogger. The media is allowed to smear me for two months during the trial, yet I'm a blogger and can't even say a word? (And I didn't, that was something Hawkins wrote) I had written up a summary refuting the opinion, attached. I now intend to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. I've got less than 90 days to file a petition for certiorari and no attorney (I fled the state after no one would hire me in the legal profession, applied to over 100 jobs in Seattle.”
“The Bar is going to come after Thomas, Aubuchon and myself for $450,000 in costs over trying us. I am already preparing for worst case scenario which would mean filing bankruptcy (I know how to file my own now!). I can't even pay off the rest of my $50,000+ in law school loans now.”
Since, Rachel has found an editor’s position in Seattle and continues to write weekly for the conservative web site Town hall and for the Christian Post. She has paid a heavy price for what she believes to be right and for trying to do her job. Rachel continues to be pressured by the radial left and muscle of the liberal agenda. Those not willing to play by rules and getting away with it, sometimes applauded for it. Rachel’s hope is by sharing her story she can bring light to her struggle for justice. Whatever may remain of it in the U.S. and to make people aware of the magnitude of corruption being played out every day in America’s courts.