This March 27, 2011 press release from the State Bar of Arizona gives details on the why's and wherefore's of the Thomas/Aubuchon/Alexander ethics investigation.
This High Profile Case Update from the Arizona Judicial Branch is a link to all pertinent documents.
Note that the Arizona State Bar does the investigation and prosecution of ethics complaints but the Arizona Supreme Court decides the sanctions.
In this case the State Bar of Arizona spent $577,467.78 to investigate and prosecute this case. That money comes solely from dues paid to the State Bar by attorneys who are members of the State Bar.
The State Bar of Arizona is NOT a government body, although the Arizona Supreme Court provides oversight. Yes, the State Bar of Arizona is one of those self-policing entities, but let me assure you that every ethics complaint made by a member of the public against an attorney in Arizona is investigated.
The noose tightens. Can you feel it, Sheriff Joe?
I can't tell you how relieved it makes me feel that the news from Arizona is good for a change.
Not trying to steal anyone's thunder, just trying to provide a little background.