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Special investigator appointed to Thomas probe

The chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court has appointed a special investigator to look into allegations of unethical conduct against Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

The investigation arises from a recent court ruling by a Pima County Superior Court judge who concluded that Thomas had prosecuted County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox for political gain and had conflicts of interest that should have precluded him from the prosecution.

Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch issued an administrative order March 8 appointing attorney J. Scott Rhodes to serve as independent bar counsel. She also appointed retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Jones as “probable cause panelist.” Jones will be the independent judge who will review the findings of the independent counsel and determine if the bar should take action.

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