Appeals court: Ex-prosecutor Thomas can be sued - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Appeals court: Ex-prosecutor Thomas can be sued

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Don Stapley (Source: CBS 5 News) Don Stapley (Source: CBS 5 News)
Andrew Thomas (Source: CBS 5 News) Andrew Thomas (Source: CBS 5 News)

A federal appeals court panel says former Maricopa County Attorney Andy Thomas and a top aide can be personally sued by a county supervisor who says they abused their power to harm him and his family.

Friday's ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a district judge's ruling that Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon can't claim immunity because they were acting as prosecutors.

The ruling says a federal racketeering lawsuit Thomas and Aubuchon filed against former Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley and others in 2009 was outside their prosecutorial duties. Stapley, another supervisor, executives and judges sued after the racketeering lawsuit was dropped.

All but Stapley have settled their cases. Trial is set for January.

The county, sheriff's office and Sheriff Joe Arpaio are also defendants.

Stay with and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

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