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Air: What’s in a grade? (access required)

Although Maricopa County was assigned a grade of “F” for ozone pollution and a grade of “C” for 24-hour particulate pollution in the American Lung Association’s recently released 2012 State of the Air Report, air quality professionals contend that the simple letter grade doesn’t tell the entire story of the Valley’s air, and that progress has been made during recent years in reducing air pollution.

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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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County treasurer won’t ‘rubber stamp’ Wilcox settlement (access required)

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox’s $1 million out-of-court settlement may hit a snag once it hits the county treasurer’s office. County Treasurer Charles “Hos” Hoskins said he won’t be a “rubber stamp” for the settlement to Wilcox and won’t sign off on the payment until he can verify that it’s justified.

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Wilcox: Arpaio is ‘next big step’ after Thomas disbarment

Failed corruption investigations launched by America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff have succeeded in getting one of the lawman's top allies disbarred. And despite Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's efforts to distance himself from cases at the center of a legal ethics panel inquiry that cost a pair of former county prosecutors their careers — the fallout has moved closer.

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