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Top Maricopa County Attorney’s Office supervisor resigns as office deals with protest charges scandal

Vince Goddard
Posted at 12:45 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 21:15:47-04

PHOENIX — As the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office continues to deal with a scandal for overcharging protesters, a high-level supervisor above the cases submitted his letter of resignation this week.

Division chief Vince Goddard, who has worked as a prosecutor in both Maricopa and Pinal counties, wrote his last day will be at the end of the month.

“I have enjoyed every single year of my 21 years as a prosecutor. But recently an opportunity has come up that I could not ignore and opens a new chapter in my life. Accordingly, please accept this as my two-week notice. I intend to resign on May 31, 2021 with that day being my last at MCAO,” according to the resignation letter.

As division chief, Goddard oversaw several bureaus, including the First Responders Bureau.

Throughout 2020, Phoenix protest cases were specifically screened to be handled by the First Responders Bureau and prosecutor April Sponsel.

In addition to charging a group of protesters as a criminal street gang, an ABC15 investigation found the bureau repeatedly presented false information and testimony to grand juries.

POLITICALLY CHARGED: Investigating protest arrests, prosecutions in Phoenix

MCAO officials said Goddard was not asked to resign. A spokesperson told ABC15 his reason for leaving is stated in his resignation letter.

Following ABC15’s reports, MCAO ordered an outside investigation and hired a retired judge to review the protest prosecutions.

The office has not released an estimated completion date.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at Dave@abc15.com.