Blogging from Phoenix—Maricopa County attorney Andrew Thomas long the publicity hound and ever ready to stage a full court press conference to announce one of his double top secret investigations against political foes, finds himself the center of a special investigation.

The Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court decided allegations of unethical conduct lodged against Mr. Thomas warrant the unprecedented appointment of a special investigator requested by the Arizona bar. It’s also been revealed that Thomas the chief political ally of embattled Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is a target of an ongoing FBI and justice department investigation into allegations of civil rights violations, corruption and widespread abuse of authority.

The Arpaio political machine which dominated local politics in Arizona for the better part of two decades is visibly disintegrating as lower level players attempt to make the best plea deals they can with federal authorities, before a federal grand jury begins handing down indictments.

Several local attorneys familiar with the details of the case, say the bulk of allegations have pretty much been ruled on in a recent court case and Thomas who just a couple years ago was said to be on track to the Governor’s office, will likely face a lengthy suspension if not complete disbarment. But being disbarred as a lawyer could be the least of the problems facing Thomas if he ends up being named as a co-conspirator in the federal criminal investigation against sheriff Arpaio.

Sources close to the federal investigation report several individuals have already flipped on the sheriff and County attorney in return for pleas. The Government is said to be just a few months away from winding up the probe, which perhaps explains why Sheriff Arpaio has recently begun to claim he is the victim of a secret plot being directed against him by none other than President Barack Obama’s white house and the Justice department.

The Arizona legislature which is home to several dozen lawmakers who owe their political careers to the Arpaio political machine is already consumed by bitter infighting over who will take over leadership of the Arizona GOP and State legislature when Sheriff Arpaio is gone. Most local pundits speculate all the meetings and long lunches being taken by groups of moderate republicans and conservative democrats at the capitol indicate a bi partisan coalition of legislators will emerge to assume power when Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas are taken into custody and find themselves being outfitted for the pink underwear they made so famous, well that’s my view yours may be different.    

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