PHOENIX — A high-profile prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has been reassigned, officials say.
Juan Martinez, who for years tried homicide cases as part of the office's capital litigation unit including the murder trial of Jodi Arias, has been moved to prosecuting vehicle thefts, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the personnel decisions within the county attorney's office.
The auto theft bureau handles "the specialized prosecution of auto theft and auto theft related crimes," according to its website.
The decision to shift Martinez's assignment comes less than three weeks after Martinez's former boss, Bill Montgomery, was named a justice on the Arizona Supreme Court by Governor Doug Ducey. Since then, the county attorney's office has been led by Chief Deputy Rachel Mitchell.
Mitchell released the following statement Tuesday evening:
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office remains focused on serving victims and providing justice to our community with fairness and equality. With this in mind, I have recently reassigned Deputy County Attorney Juan Martinez from the Capital Litigation Bureau to the Auto Theft Bureau. The cases assigned to our Capital Litigation Bureau are very time intensive and demand the assigned prosecutor's undivided effort and attention. Given the Arizona Bar proceedings involving Mr. Martinez, I felt it was important to assign him a caseload that would be more flexible and allow him to take time when needed to focus on resolving these complaints. This decision does not delay the prosecution of any capital cases. To ensure this, the cases assigned to Mr. Martinez that are currently in trial or pending remand will remain with him as the lead prosecutor. This will ensure justiceis not delayed and both victims and defendants are given due process. Finally, I want to ensure due process is given to Mr. Martinez in the bar complaints, and this move should not be viewed as prejudging the outcome of the proceedings.
Documents obtained by ABC15 show Martinez's conduct stretches back thirty years.
The State Bar has also accused Martinez of leaking confidential information to a blogger during the Arias trial with whom he was allegedly having an affair.