The man on the spot in Arizona

By

Maricopa, Arizona County Attorney Andrew Thomas is the 'The Man.'

The men accused of being the Southeast Valley's serial shooters are in jail.  Upcoming is a decision on whether to ask for the death penalty if a guilty verdict is rendered at the conclusion of the trial.   This decision will be made by one man.  Andrew Thomas is the Maricopa County Attorney.  When it comes to this very high profile case, he's not the judge.  He's not the jury.  He's the man.

Andrew Thomas has been in office for 18 months.  To date, he calls his greatest accomplishment the passing of the human smuggling law.  This is

'fulfilling a campaign promise.  I told the voters that I would work to stop illegal immigration and this law is part of that,' Thomas said. 

As we sat high in Thomas' office, he reminded me that laws are designed to protect the citizenry. 

Thomas succeeded Rick Romley, who held the office for 16 years.  Thomas is not attempting to follow in the highly regarded Romley's footsteps, but is bringing is own set of criteria and principles to the office that represents the third largest county in America. 

'I backed Prop 200 when there were few supporters.  Now, it's a very popular measure. Voters this election season will have to show a valid ID at polling stations.'

While Sherriff Joe Arpaio is doing all he can to enforce the human smuggling law, it seems there is a never ending stream of criticism in doing so.  Even from powerful entities outside the country.

'The Mexican Consulate has challenged us in court.  The judge presiding on the case, Judge O'Toole, has seen fit so far to rule in our favor.  It really is a matter for the State Legislature to consider when debating whether or not the law is being carried out as written.  From my point of view and from Judge O'Toole's, it is.' 

Some in the community and, as mentioned, outside the community, feel illegal aliens themselves are being unfairly called co—conspirators with the coyotes who smuggle them into the country.

'The federal government passed a law restricting states from enforcing illegal immigration statues all ready on the books,' Thomas explained.  'Add to that the incompetence of agencies like ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and you've got a problem that will continue to grow unless some common sense measures are taken at the local level.'

In discussing the crime problems of the East Valley, Thomas offered identity theft and lethal meth labs as the top priorities.  His office has a fully functioning division located in the Mesa Court facilities at the Superstition Springs Freeway and Mesa Drive to handle the challenges posed by these serious issues.

Thomas has authored a number of books.  His experiences in the literary world have put him in touch with the likes of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the late football great Reggie White.  'Reggie was the real deal and Scalia was engaging, and, of course, brilliant.'

The death penalty decision comes on or before October 20th.

J. James Estrada   9 21 06

Maricopa, Arizona County Attorney Andrew Thomas is the 'The Man.'

The men accused of being the Southeast Valley's serial shooters are in jail.  Upcoming is a decision on whether to ask for the death penalty if a guilty verdict is rendered at the conclusion of the trial.   This decision will be made by one man.  Andrew Thomas is the Maricopa County Attorney.  When it comes to this very high profile case, he's not the judge.  He's not the jury.  He's the man.

Andrew Thomas has been in office for 18 months.  To date, he calls his greatest accomplishment the passing of the human smuggling law.  This is

'fulfilling a campaign promise.  I told the voters that I would work to stop illegal immigration and this law is part of that,' Thomas said. 

As we sat high in Thomas' office, he reminded me that laws are designed to protect the citizenry. 

Thomas succeeded Rick Romley, who held the office for 16 years.  Thomas is not attempting to follow in the highly regarded Romley's footsteps, but is bringing is own set of criteria and principles to the office that represents the third largest county in America. 

'I backed Prop 200 when there were few supporters.  Now, it's a very popular measure. Voters this election season will have to show a valid ID at polling stations.'

While Sherriff Joe Arpaio is doing all he can to enforce the human smuggling law, it seems there is a never ending stream of criticism in doing so.  Even from powerful entities outside the country.

'The Mexican Consulate has challenged us in court.  The judge presiding on the case, Judge O'Toole, has seen fit so far to rule in our favor.  It really is a matter for the State Legislature to consider when debating whether or not the law is being carried out as written.  From my point of view and from Judge O'Toole's, it is.' 

Some in the community and, as mentioned, outside the community, feel illegal aliens themselves are being unfairly called co—conspirators with the coyotes who smuggle them into the country.

'The federal government passed a law restricting states from enforcing illegal immigration statues all ready on the books,' Thomas explained.  'Add to that the incompetence of agencies like ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and you've got a problem that will continue to grow unless some common sense measures are taken at the local level.'

In discussing the crime problems of the East Valley, Thomas offered identity theft and lethal meth labs as the top priorities.  His office has a fully functioning division located in the Mesa Court facilities at the Superstition Springs Freeway and Mesa Drive to handle the challenges posed by these serious issues.

Thomas has authored a number of books.  His experiences in the literary world have put him in touch with the likes of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the late football great Reggie White.  'Reggie was the real deal and Scalia was engaging, and, of course, brilliant.'

The death penalty decision comes on or before October 20th.

J. James Estrada   9 21 06