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State Bar of Arizona clarifies role in transparency regarding Juan Martinez discipline

Posted at 4:17 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 22:29:04-04

PHOENIX — The State Bar of Arizona is issuing a clarification involving its role in being transparent regarding a disciplinary hearing for one of the top prosecutors in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

"In an effort to maintain transparency and provide clarity, we've asked bar counsel working on the Juan Martinez disciplinary proceedings to provide a few clarifying statements to the media," the bar said.

Juan Martinez, the prosecutor who became a household name during the Jodi Arias trial, is facing disciplinary hearings for allegedly having a relationship with a blogger who was covering the trial. The state bar, which licenses and oversees discipline for lawyers in Arizona, alleges Martinez leaked sealed information to the blogger.

The bar's claim comes after a report from ABC15 this week which questioned why county attorney Bill Montgomery, Martinez's boss, sealed so many documents related to the case.

Those documents include an internal investigation of Martinez launched after female staffers at MCAO spoke out about inappropriate sexual statements.

The state bar says the county attorney’s office agreed to provide that investigation but only if the report was sealed to prevent the public from getting a copy. A judge granted the county attorney's request last year.

The bar protested and requested the court unseal the internal investigation with the names of Martinez's accusers redacted.

"Despite the State Bar's request to unseal the MCAO report with appropriate redactions, the judge denied the State Bar's request. The effect of the order is that neither the State Bar nor Mr. Martinez may release any portion of the MCAO report to anyone other than testifying witnesses," the statement said.