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Thomas defends cases against county officials

Former County Attorney Andrew Thomas testifies during the State Bar of Arizona's ongoing disciplinary hearings against him, and two of his assistants Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander at the Arizona Supreme Court in Phoenix, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Jack Kurtz)

Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas defended failed investigations that he and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office launched into county officials as necessary for rooting out corruption.

But he faced numerous questions about whether he had conflicts of interest in pursuing those cases.

Thomas served as the county’s top prosecutor from more than five years before resigning in April 2008.

He testified Wednesday at an attorney discipline hearing against him that could lead to punishments if he is found to have violated ethical rules.

Thomas is accused of bringing criminal cases against two county officials to embarrass them and charging a judge with bribery when he knew the charges were false. All three cases were dismissed.

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