UPDATE: Prosecutor's motion delays Stapley arraignment

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MESA -- Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley's arraignment has been postponed because of a last-minute motion from prosecutors asking that the judge be stripped of the case.

Judge rejects attorney's request

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas filed the motion late Wednesday claiming that Judge Kenneth Fields has shown hostility toward him in the past and cannot give prosecutors a fair hearing. Thomas also argues the unusual way in which the case was assigned to Fields is enough to call the independence of the courts into question.

Fields has rejected the request that he voluntarily remove himself from the case.

Presiding criminal division Judge Anna Baca canceled Stapley's scheduled Thursday arraignment until Thomas' motion could be heard in front of a different judge.

Stapley is charged with 118 criminal counts alleging he failed to list properties and business interests on personal disclosure statements he is required to file.

The indictment against Stapley was announced last week and was the result of a months-long investigation conducted by the offices of the county attorney and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Stapley denies any wrongdoing.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune

Indicted Co. Supervisor Stapley gets mug shot taken, released

MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- Indicted Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley has been booked and released in connection with 118 criminal charges he faces for allegedly concealing business interests and land dealings.

In an online story in the East Valley Tribune, Stapley was fingerprinted and photographed Tuesday before his release.

The Republican is accused of failing to list business ventures on financial disclosure statements going back to 1994.

The charges were brought by the Maricopa County Attorney and sheriff after a monthslong investigation.

Stapley faces multiple felony counts of perjury, forgery and false swearing.

The charges relate to his failure to list specific land holdings and other assets on the disclosure statements.

Stapley has denied the allegations.


Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune, http://www.eastvalleytribune.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APNP-12-09-08 1728MST