Arias prosecutor Martinez reassigned in Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
PHOENIX – The Arizona prosecutor who rose to national prominence during the Jodi Arias murder trial has been reassigned from death-penalty cases, his supervisor said.
Juan Martinez, of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, was moved to the auto theft bureau, Chief Deputy Rachel Mitchell said in a press release Wednesday.
The transfer sent Martinez out of the office’s high-profile team at a time when he faces potential disciplinary action from the State Bar of Arizona on ethics allegations.
“The cases assigned to our Capital Litigation Bureau are very time intensive and demand the assigned prosecutor’s undivided effort and attention,” Mitchell wrote in a partial statement.
“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.”
The formal complaint against Martinez was filed by the State Bar in March. He was accused of leaking a juror’s identity to a blogger he allegedly was having an affair with during the Arias trial.
The blogger was writing about the sensational 2013 court proceedings.
In late August, a judge denied the State Bar’s request to unseal a report from the Attorney’s Office, then led by Bill Montgomery, that had investigated other sexual misconduct allegations made against Martinez.
Mitchell also said in the statement that she wanted want to ensure Martinez was given due process in the bar complaints and that “this move should not be viewed as prejudging the outcome of the proceedings.”
Mitchell is temporarily in charge of the prosecutor’s office after Montgomery was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court.
The county Board of Supervisors will name a replacement to finish the term, which ends in January 2021.