Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery raised eyebrows when he attacked popular Townhall contributor Rachel Alexander on a conservative website last week. Montgomery went after Alexander after she questioned whether it is “misfeasance for public officials to use taxpayer dollars in pursuit of a vendetta.”
Alexander was referring to the decision by the Maricopa County supervisors and Montgomery to continue the legal battle waged on Alexander and her senior attorney at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Lisa Aubuchon. At issue is the decision of the supervisors to rack up $101,292.75 in costs associated with the” disciplinary show trial” against Aubuchon and Alexander nearly nine years ago. The two women were disciplined by the Arizona Bar for following the orders of then-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
Montgomery took exception to Alexander’s comments made on the popular conservative website, MCRC Briefs:
Maricopa County taxpayers deserve to know how the Maricopa County Supervisors and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery are abusing their tax dollars. For eight and a half years, the supervisors have spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in pursuit of a vendetta against myself and another former government attorney, Lisa Aubuchon, merely because we followed orders from our former boss County Attorney Andrew Thomas as he worked with former Sheriff Joe Arpaio to root out corruption in the supervisors’ office and combated illegal immigration.
The supervisors and Montgomery refuse to pay $101,292.75 in costs associated with the disciplinary show trial against us – a trial they instigated with bar complaints against us. Unbelievably and fiscally irresponsible, Montgomery said publicly that the supervisors are in the right to refuse to pay it. They have now fought for years in court to resist paying it, even though they paid the costs for my immediate supervisor, Pete Spaw, because he caved to save his own hide. They have now spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this vendetta in order to have to avoid paying the $101,292.75 – a gross abuse of tax dollars. Since Lisa and I cannot afford to pay it, we are prohibited from practicing law. We both have lost all of our savings, racked up immense debt, and I lost my health over the never-ending stress.
This past month, the supervisors and Montgomery asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to award them $67,347.50 in attorneys’ fees for the latest round of legal proceedings. The county has relied on law firm Sacks Tierney. The court denied their motion but that puts the taxpayers on the hook. Although the current county supervisors were not in office when the vendetta started, they are continuing the vendetta.
It is misfeasance for public officials to use taxpayer dollars in pursuit of a vendetta. As one former official familiar with the long witch hunt described it, “Rachel and Lisa are being sacrificed at the altar of official Maricopa County corruption. The County’s actions are reprehensible.” Isn’t eight and a half years of a government vendetta against two former subordinates enough? Any attorney thinking about working for the County should be warned. If you get in trouble for doing your job, you WILL be thrown under the bus if it is politically expedient. Please consider contacting the five supervisors and the county attorney and demand that they end the misfeasance of taxpayer dollars in this ongoing witch hunt. For more information, click here.
Montgomery, best known for his thin skin and unwillingness to admit mistakes, was offered an opportunity to respond:
Editor’s Note: Briefs offered Montgomery an opportunity to respond. Montgomery replied: “It is so full of misrepresentations and faulty conclusions that I would have to write a response at least twice as long. But for the fact that Rachel and Lisa kept appealing the case, there wouldn’t have been a need to continue litigating it. Additionally, my Office could not handle the case because of conflicts so an outside firm had to handle it.”
“I have never lied once about the 8.5 years of legal abuse I have suffered at the hands of the county supervisors and now by your office as well. Shame on you,” wrote Alexander in response. “Time for a new county attorney who is honest and won’t cow to the corrupt people in the supervisor’s office because he’s scared. Ironically, if I had my law license, I’d run against you myself to get you out of there. Shame on you for abusing the taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for years.”
In 2014, Montgomery got into hot water when he aggressively targeted Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne during the Republican Primary. Horne consider obtaining a restraining order against Montgomery “based on the conflict of interest that must necessarily arise from Montgomery’s relationship” with Horne’s challenger, Mark Brnovich.