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Dust-up leads to Clemency director’s firing (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer fired the outgoing executive director of the Board of Executive Clemency after three newly confirmed appointees showed up late for work Monday.

Their tardiness caused a two-hour delay of clemency hearings as victims and families of prisoners stood by disgruntled, and waited for a quorum to form.

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Thomas won’t appeal disbarment; criticizes accusers

Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas took a swipe at his accusers and the Arizona Supreme Court today in announcing he is not going to appeal his April 10 disbarment. Thomas had until 5 p.m. today to file a notice of appeal, but instead sent an email to the press to say that he can’t continue the legal proceedings because the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors refused to pay for his attorneys.

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Arpaio played probe for laughs

An audio recording has surfaced of an Arizona sheriff playing his refusal to cooperate in a racial profiling investigation for laughs at a fundraiser for an anti-illegal immigration group in Texas. He ridicules politicians who sought the probe and displayed contempt toward federal authorities who were — and are still — investigating him on two fronts.

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3 new appointees on clemency board; long-time chief out (access required)

Duane Belcher, chairman and executive director of the Arizona Board of Clemency, is on his way out after 20 years, as three new appointees take their places on the panel now made up entirely of Gov. Jan Brewer’s picks. Belcher’s departure, some observers say, creates a vacuum of experience and leadership. Belcher is also one of the last members left from a board that unanimously recommended in 2009 to reduce a life sentence for a man many believe is innocent of a double murder.

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