The American Post-Gazette is reporting …
Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, who tried to prosecute judges but ended up being victimized by them when they turned the tables on him and helped get him disbarred, is helping push Prop. 115, which will start the the process of much-needed reforms in Arizona’s judiciary. Victims of the probate court system, through Citizens for Clean Courts, are spearheading the proposition and welcomed the support of Thomas. Thomas held a press conference yesterday where he explained why this was necessary, “You have the most powerful branch of government which is completely unaccountable to the people, this is a democracy. This is what has been allowed to evolve.”
Thomas was joined at the press conference by family members of elderly Arizonans whose estates were depleted by probate and fiduciary fees. Scottsdale resident Patti Gomes said court-appointed lawyers and fiduciaries drained her 90-year-old mother’s $1.4 million estate.
Prop. 115 will increase the number of judicial candidates the governor can choose, from 3 choices to 8. It will limit the State Bar’s power over choosing who sits on judicial nomination commission, and will require all written opinions from judges to be put on court websites. It would make several more changes, including lowering the mandatory retirement age for judges from 75 to 70.
Since Prop. 115 was referred to the ballot by the legislature, it will be on the ballot this fall. Since being disbarred, Thomas has made it his mission to reform corruption in the judiciary, “I see myself as a reformer,” he said. “This is the first step in taking back our government.”