Monday, December 26, 2011

It's A Wonderful Life!

I must say that this is the first Christmas I've felt alive since the birth of our daughter in 2004. This isn't to say that negative things have not happened this year. GroupO in Illinois declared me ineligible for hire a few months ago because I have a felony conviction in my past. STG, Inc.--a large government contractor--withdrew a six figure offer two days before I was to begin work after I disclosed a felony in my background. And, the federal government had me fired from a job in March (as a practical matter) by disallowing my base access Computer Access Card (CAC) after a six-month investigation told them what I had told them day one. Of course, I've sent out hundreds of resumes with no luck too. And, last of the hopeless news is that one more attorney confirmed that my felony can never be set-aside because Andy Thomas' office policy was to use a law that can never be set-aside, irrespective of his corruption and misconduct. It is just the way that the Arizona Legislature wrote it I'm told.

So, why am I so happy? One might think that it is because Andrew Thomas will be disbarred this coming year. After working for several years to end his political career and starting a movement that eventually led to his Arizona Bar trial, that would be a natural conclusion. But, for once, my emotional state has nothing to do with Andrew Thomas or Maricopa County, Arizona. It has to do with my life. Yes, my life! And a wonderful one it is too.

I have a wife that has loved me through all of these trials. An 11-year-old daughter who believes I am the best thing in her world. And her younger sister--who just turned 7 this month--that agrees with her older sister. I have a church pastor that has known me for only a couple of months and has declared me a "good man". Neighborhood friends of my daughters who look to my wife and I for guidance when their parents don't provide it. A dog that is too old to be alive, but refuses to give up his good life with our family. And, our family has recently had the miracle of two identical feline twins. Pepper and Ginger are a welcome addition to the family. Both were brought home by my wife--a devout cat hater--after she fell in love with them. If those are not great reasons to be me, then I don't know what could be better!

I watched Jimmy Stewart's "It's A Wonderful Life" with new eyes this year. My wife--her name is Becky by the way--has taken her first job since our oldest child's birth. It's a part-time Christmas job, but it has nonetheless had a wonderful impact on her mood. For the first time since 2005, I have entered a perspective where I don't care that my thirty-year career and twenty years of college seems to have been thoroughly trashed. I don't care that I have a tattoo on my resume that says "Untouchable" on it to most employers. And, above all, I don't care that I'll never work for another rich SOB with multiple personality disorders. What I do care about is that I am a person who loves other people. I have worked hard in my life to do acts of kindness that show my love. And I have been granted the wonderful Grace to have ample opportunity to show it every day. I care that my friends and family confirm my attempts at goodness by loving me so openly and affectionately. I care that I have my freedom to raise my children and hug my wife. I care that I am alive and I can play flag football with my little girls and my wife.

Bad things happen to good people every day. A bad thing happened to me when a corrupt politician named Andrew Thomas used me for political gain. But, I've chosen to move on and now my challenge is to get Becky to move on as well. That's my resolution for this New Year--to help Becky stop looking at what she lost and look at what she has right in front of her. I'm a happy man, a lucky man, and I must say--It's A Wonderful Life!

Blessings to all who read this! May your new year be filled with wonder and goodness!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Andrew Thomas is no more

In the first two months of 2012, one quarter of a million people in Maricopa County, Arizona that were forever changed in a horrific way by Andrew Thomas, will hopefully get some long awaited justice. If the Arizona Republic runs the headline "Andrew Thomas, former Maricopa County Attorney, has been disbarred from practicing law" there will be fireworks that night. People will weep in relief. A smidgen of faith that there is some justice in America's legal system will return and hopefully Arizona's new Attorney General, Tom Horne, will have some indictments waiting to keep the ball of a return to "doing the right thing" rolling in Arizona.

Some people like to credit me as the first person to speak out against Thomas. Certainly, I was the first person to write a book about him [and Joe Arpaio] that wasn't written by them. One thing I do know is that I worked for several years for this day. And, as one of the thousands of county residents who Andrew Thomas victimized for his own political gain, I eagerly await the upcoming Arizona Bar decision to put an end to his legal career.

I've spent the last 4 years trying to recover my career. I haven't been able to put the 20 years of college and $50k of student loans behind me and move on. My task completed (removing Andrew Thomas from politics and seeing him disbarred), I have been a man without a cause as it were. But, I'm returning to renew my fight on a grander scale. So, while I've said goodbye to Fat Bellied Laughing Buddha Publishing, I've also decided to launch Freedom Road Publishing as its successor. I chose a new company name because the new company has a different purpose. It will be to give a voice to writers like myself--unpublished, talented people with a voice and something to say. I don't want that tainted by Maricopa County politics the way that FBLB became, so I've put on a new suit of clothes.

Starting anew doesn't mean I'm forgetting all my hard fought friends, or the fights they continue to fight for their loved ones still in prison. It doesn't mean that my empathy for the millions of Americans whom employers refuse to hire carte blanche due to a felony has gone. Far from it, Americans need to take their country back and I want to be part of that movement! Since I have to always remain vigilant of rogue cops and rogue prosecutors, I'm going to keep doing what works for me--using a pen and paper (metaphorically) in print and on the Internet.

One goal completed, I have hope and a plan for new roads to travel. Roads that lead to a return to freedom in America. That's why I call them Freedom Roads and I'll be looking for writers who have a voice to help me.

By the way, I've found a local attorney who stays up on this case. His name is Joshua Davidson. He's one of the younger new breed of attorneys that seems dissatisfied with the status quo in Maricopa County and that means that if you need an attorney, you will get a committed one in him. His website is And, I follow his blog as one way to keep abreast of the return of justice to Maricopa County. You will find it here: . I went through three attorneys with my case, so I've learned to recognize separate the wheat from the chaff as they say. If you need an attorney, I recommend giving Josh a call.

Blessing to all and Happy Holidays!