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Temporary head of MCAO under State Bar investigation

Posted at 6:30 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 21:30:10-04

PHOENIX — The temporary head of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is under investigation by the State Bar of Arizona.

ABC15 has confirmed that Chief Deputy Ken Vick is facing an ongoing probe for his role in multiple protest cases that were dismissed for egregious prosecutorial misconduct.

“The matter you have asked about remains under investigation,” said Joe Hengemuehler, a spokesperson for the State Bar of Arizona. “Pursuant to Rule 70, Ariz. R. Sup. Ct., there is no further public information available at this time.”

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When former County Attorney Allister Adel resigned last week, Vick was placed in charge of the office.

He will remain at the top of MCAO until the Board of Supervisors names a replacement to hold the seat until a special election this fall. Board officials said a timeline has not been set to make that decision.

ABC15 has learned a group of defense attorneys filed a Bar complaint against Vick and Adel late last year. It alleges they failed to properly supervise their prosecutors as the office falsely charged protesters in multiple cases.

In the most egregious example, MCAO and Phoenix police colluded to invent a gang and then falsely charge protesters as members.

Internal communications and records show Vick went along with the plan until ABC15’s “Politically Charged” investigation exposed that the case was built on wild exaggerations and lies.

The State Bar investigation into Adel is also ongoing. In addition to the protest cases, the Bar is probing her struggle with sobriety and whether she was impaired on the job.

Vick did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Contact ABC15 Chief Investigator Dave Biscobing at