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Governor critical of the way Maricopa County Attorney is running the office

Allister Adel
Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 15:38:34-04

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey challenged the leadership of Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel Tuesday.

The governor did not answer directly whether Adel should resign. But he called what's happening inside the Maricopa County Attorney's Office "Unacceptable."

For months there have been concerns over Adel's ability to run the office. There were personal struggles with sobriety and physical absences from work. Five of the County Attorney's division chiefs called for her resignation.

The County Attorney received widespread criticism for how her office prosecuted police protestors, improperly seeking gang charges against them. An ABC15 investigation ultimately led to the cases being dropped.

More recently drawing criticism, the disclosure that 180 misdemeanor criminal cases were dropped because the County Attorney's office failed to file them with the court before the statute of limitations ran out.

"This is really unacceptable," the governor said. "The police officers that put their lives on the line every day and the victims of these crimes deserve justice. I think we need to see this office turn itself around and restore confidence with the voters."

On Monday the County Attorney's Office told ABC15 it alerted law enforcement agencies and victims to the filing errors and made changes to make sure it doesn't happen again. But it appears, in the governor's mind at least, it's too late to say sorry.

"I think leaders should take accountability for their actions and not blame members of their team," Ducey said at an event Tuesday.

ABC15 reached out to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for a response to the Governor's statements.

On Wednesday, County Attorney Allister Adel released the following statement:

"The governor is absolutely correct that the line prosecutors are the unsung heroes of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. All the employees of this office are dedicated public servants who strive for justice every day. I take full responsibility for everything that happens within this office. To the victims of these cases, I apologize. Victim’s rights is a pillar of my administration and I will endeavor to ensure this error does not happen in the future."