He's got guts! Officer Adam Stoddard is on the job today, not in jail

By Nick R. Martin | December 1st, 2009 | 11:30 am | 15 Comments »

He was supposed to go to jail today, but Maricopa County detention officer Adam Stoddard is on the job instead, working in a courtroom just two floors above the judge whose orders he publicly defied Monday night.

Public defender Maria Schaffer said an attorney in her office spotted Stoddard in uniform, guarding the seventh-floor courtroom of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Lisa Flores this morning. “He was there,” said Schaffer.

About 12 hours before he returned to the job, Stoddard stood outside the same courthouse and told a pack of journalists he would not obey an order by Judge Gary Donahoe to apologize for rifling through an attorney’s confidential files and seizing a letter from a defendant. The Oct. 19 incident took place in Flores’ courtroom, no less.

Stoddard told reporters he would rather go to jail than apologize.

Under the order by Donahoe, whose courtroom is on the fifth floor of the Maricopa County Superior Courthouse in downtown Phoenix, Stoddard should have reported for jail today.

Donahoe’s order said that if Stoddard did not apologize, he “shall report to the jail on December 1, 2009 and be detained until further order of this Court upon a finding that he has complied.”

But Stoddard’s attorney told Heat City today that he believes Donahoe’s order alone is not enough to put the detention officer behind bars for contempt of court.

Deputy county attorney Tom Liddy said Donahoe needs to also issue an arrest warrant or an order of confinement. He said Stoddard “cannot walk in off the street” and present himself to the jail. “It doesn’t work that way,” he said.

Meantime, Liddy said he and other attorneys still preparing to file a request with the Arizona Court of Appeals to strike down Donahoe’s ruling.

“These are tactical and strategic decisions that need to be made,” he said.

Schaffer, who is representing the defendant whose documents were seized by Stoddard, declined further comment. Calls to the courts of Donahoe and Flores were not returned.


  • Shar Pei

    I almost feel bad for Stoddard. Then again, “I was just following orders,” was not held to be an affirmative defense at Nuremberg.

  • jamesonjohnson

    I almost feel bad for Stoddard. Then again, “I was just following orders,” was not held to be an affirmative defense at Nuremberg.

  • lawyerboy

    Lawyers like Stoddard’s, who are willing to defend any position regardless of its complete lack of legal merit, are among the reasons that lawyers have come to be held in such low regard. A good lawyer would advise his client to accept responsibility for his actions despite the fact that this would not be what the client wanted to hear. At the very least, an employee of the court should make every effort to comply with the orders of the court instead of looking for loopholes to use to avoid complying.

  • lawyerboy

    Lawyers like Stoddard's, who are willing to defend any position regardless of its complete lack of legal merit, are among the reasons that lawyers have come to be held in such low regard. A good lawyer would advise his client to accept responsibility for his actions despite the fact that this would not be what the client wanted to hear. At the very least, an employee of the court should make every effort to comply with the orders of the court instead of looking for loopholes to use to avoid complying.

  • http://ingunowners.com/forums/politics_laws_and_2nd_amendment/59941-deputy_steals_defense_lawyers_file-4.html#post698150 Deputy Steals Defense Lawyers File – Page 4 – INGunOwners

    [...] he finds that prospect ludicrous. He's at work today and hasn't bothered to report to jail. From Heat City [...]

  • Anonymous

    Just telling someone that they must turn themselves into a jail isn’t the correct procedure for confining a person to jail. There must be a warrant or an order of confinement. That’s why he didn’t report right away.

  • Bohefus

    Just telling someone that they must turn themselves into a jail isn't the correct procedure for confining a person to jail. There must be a warrant or an order of confinement. That's why he didn't report right away.

  • Anonymous

    The more amazing aspect of this story is the defense attorney’s rather lackluster attitude toward what happened to her and her client. In the news report following the deputy’s rather brash refusal to apologize, the defense says, “What are you going to do.” and “Oh well.”

    That’s zealous advocacy?

  • joedane

    The more amazing aspect of this story is the defense attorney's rather lackluster attitude toward what happened to her and her client. In the news report following the deputy's rather brash refusal to apologize, the defense says, “What are you going to do.” and “Oh well.”

    That's zealous advocacy?

  • Anonymous

    Stoddard obviously thinks he is a Gestapo Officer, not a American Peace Officer. We recently had a case of a 15-year-old homeless kid from the 60′s who was kicked out by his parents, was beaten and tortured, then framed for a murder by the Police. High profile crime probably done by a drifter. Police were under a lot of pressure. They took the easy way out and that kid live in hell his whole life: Spent 35 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
    Nazi Germany is easy as long as you don’t care about right and wrong, Justice is a lot of Hard Work. Honest people with sound moral compasses know the difference. Officer Stoddard obviously doesn’t. I wonder how many innocent people he has framed.
    Of course, that has no bearing on the innocence or guilt of the man on trial, who apparently already pled gullty to one crime.

  • Anonymous

    Stoddard obviously thinks he is a Gestapo Officer, not a American Peace Officer. We recently had a case of a 15-year-old homeless kid from the 60′s who was kicked out by his parents, was beaten and tortured, then framed for a murder by the Police. High profile crime probably done by a drifter. Police were under a lot of pressure. They took the easy way out and that kid live in hell his whole life: Spent 35 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
    Nazi Germany is easy as long as you don’t care about right and wrong, Justice is a lot of Hard Work. Honest people with sound moral compasses know the difference. Officer Stoddard obviously doesn’t. I wonder how many innocent people he has framed.
    Of course, that has no bearing on the innocence or guilt of the man on trial, who apparently already pled gullty to one crime.

  • archimedes111

    Stoddard obviously thinks he is a Gestapo Officer, not a American Peace Officer. We recently had a case of a 15-year-old homeless kid from the 60's who was kicked out by his parents, was beaten and tortured, then framed for a murder by the Police. High profile crime probably done by a drifter. Police were a lot of pressure. They took the easy way out and that kid live in hell his whole life: Spent 35 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
    Nazi Germany is easy, Justice is a lot of Hard Work.

  • Guest

    apparently you’re not a defense attorney

    (p.s.: i think this pig is a scumbag but i’d vigorously defend him if i were his lawyer)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000712013309 Rik Daniel

    This dumb barney is so stupid. Obviously full of himself. What he did was criminal and not obeying the judge is also not only a crime but shows that he feels he is above the law,as do most “Enforcement Officers”. I cant wait for the judge to show him who’s in charge and I hope he does end up in a cell in pink for the holidays. His new nickname should be Dopey

  • Michael Huang

    Adam Stoddard seems like a very arrogant and un-patriotic man.