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Formal disciplinary complaint filed against Thomas

Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, right, with his wife Ann Estrada Thomas at his side, says a formal attorney-discipline case launched against him is a political witch hunt on behalf of the state's legal establishment during a press conference in front of the Arizona Supreme Court building Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, in Phoenix.  A judge ruled Monday that there's enough evidence to launch a case against Thomas for alleging basing a lawsuit and investigations of county officials on his personal animosity toward them. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, right, with his wife Ann Estrada Thomas at his side, says a formal attorney-discipline case launched against him is a political witch hunt on behalf of the state's legal establishment during a press conference in front of the Arizona Supreme Court building Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A formal attorney-discipline complaint was filed Thursday against former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, alleging he based a lawsuit and criminal investigations of county officials on his animosity toward them.

Thursday’s filing was a formality after a judge ruled in December that were was enough evidence to launch a disciplinary case against Thomas and two other former prosecutors, Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander.

The complaint repeats many allegations contained in an earlier filing that prompted the judge’s December ruling.

“We are looking forward for the opportunity to defend Mr. Thomas and restore his good name,” said Don Wilson Jr., an attorney representing Thomas, noting that he hasn’t reviewed the complaint.

If Thomas is found to have violated the professional rules of conduct, he could face a wide range of punishments, including an informal reprimand, censure, suspension or disbarment.

Thomas led investigations that resulted in criminal charges against two county supervisors and one judge. All three cases were dismissed after a judge ruled Thomas prosecuted one of the three officials for political gain and had a conflict of interest in pressing the case.

The formal complaint said Thomas, Aubuchon and Alexander had no good-faith basis for pressing a lawsuit that accused a group of county officials and judges of conspiring to hinder an investigation into the construction of a court building and an investigation of a county supervisor.

Aubuchon didn’t immediately return a call late Thursday afternoon seeking comment, but has said in the past that the allegations were biased.

Scott Zwillinger, whose firm represents Alexander, said in a written statement that Alexander was a bit player who is being used in a larger political dispute and that he is confident she will be cleared of the allegations against her.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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