Unsealed Grand Jury Documents in Maricopa County Investigations

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Interim County Attorney Rick Romley and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas hold separate press conferences offering different takes on unsealed Grand Jury transcripts and what they say about investigations into County officials.

Ted Simons:
Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. "A grave miscarriage of justice and an abuse of power." That's how interim Maricopa County attorney Rick Romley describes efforts by the county sheriff and former county attorney Andrew Thomas to seek criminal indictments against county officials. At issue are two matters that were brought before a grand jury early this year. Allegations that a judge and county officials conspired to hinder an investigation into the new county court tower. And charges that county supervisors illegally used public funds to conduct sweeps for electronic listening devices. On July 20th, Romley asked that the grand jury transcripts be unsealed. And just last week, a judge assigned to the case issued an order granting that request. Today, Romley released the transcripts and other documents. He says they show the grand jury voted to end the inquiry back in March. He calls the action by the grand jury a rare move that means the panel saw absolutely no merit in the case. Despite that, he says the sheriff's office continues to threaten and intimidate county officials with allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

Rick Romley:
This ongoing miscarriage of justice and abuse of power by the Maricopa County sheriff's office and the former Maricopa County attorney, Andrew Thomas, are the reasons we're here today. I have prepared a detailed presentation that will show unequivocally that the conduct of the Maricopa County sheriff's office and the former county attorney was not to seek justice. But was to persecute those who dared to oppose them. This is not acceptable. And to that end, I have forwarded this material to the United States attorney and the FBI for their consideration in their ongoing investigations into the Maricopa County sheriff's office and the Maricopa County attorney's office regarding abuse of power. Additionally, I have instructed my staff to notify the Arizona Supreme Court's independent bar counsel that's looking into allegations against unethical conduct against Andrew Thomas to provide them that material.

Ted Simons:
At a press conference held after Romley released the documents, former county attorney Andrew Thomas responded to the release of the grand jury material.

Andrew Thomas:
We have never been able to tell our side until today because the grand jury proceedings had not been unsealed and Rick Romley's attempted ambush liberates us so we can tell the taxpayers we spent their money well and there's serious corruption in Maricopa County government and the supervisors who 0 appointed Rick Romley one of them came within a whisker of being indicted and to think that -- battled that corruption in the face of them trying to describe a career because Lisa stood up to them and did her job is disgraceful and the lies that Rick Romley has told today in saying that the investigation was ended for lack of evidence. We asked it be ended so it could be sent to the department of justice.

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