Maricopa County supervisors, County Attorney's Office face off over alleged leaks

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- There's more drama between he Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

The board is concerned that Thomas' office is leaking confidential information about the county's legal issues and they believe it's happened anonymously online.

In a letter to Thomas and his officer, the board said any such leak would violate the attorney-client privilege.

The board wants to see e-mail messages the County Attorney's Office has sent to the press.

"We just want to make sure the lawyers who represent us are complying with their ethical obligations," said Cari Gerchick a legal adviser to the board.

The staff in the County Attorney's Office denies ever leaking sensitive information on blogs. The office called the board's probe a violation of free speech.

"I think what the Board of Supervisors is trying to do is to silence criticism," said Michael Scerbo, a spokesman for the County Attorny's Office. "They're doing so by applying pressure and intimiding tactics on another branch of government."

The board recently thwarted Thomas' plan to hire out-of-state prosecutors to go after County Supervisor Don Stapley.

There' no word yet on whether the County Attorney's Office will comply with the board's request by next week's deadline.