Democrats call for Maricopa County Attorney Adel to resign following leave for rehab
Sep 15, 2021, 6:50 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2021, 8:16 am
(Screenshot/Maricopa County Attorney's Office YouTube)
PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Democratic Party called on County Attorney Allister Adel to resign on Wednesday following her recent announcement that she was going on leave to seek treatment for alcohol abuse and an eating disorder.
“While MCDP is empathetic to County Attorney Adel’s health concerns and wishes her a speedy recovery, Adel cannot lead the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in a rehabilitation center,” MCDP Chair Nancy Schriber said in a statement. “MCDP urges County Attorney Allister Adel to resign immediately.”
Adel said in a statement Friday she was seeking treatment for anxiety and “unhealthy coping behaviors.”
County democrats commended Adel for her bravery in making the announcement, however, cited other reasons for why she should submit her resignation.
“Underlining her calamitous leadership is the disastrous decision to prosecute Black Lives Matter community activists as ‘gang members.’” Schriber said. “To this day, there are indications that the MCAO and Phoenix Police colluded to charge community activists wrongfully. As a result, the MCAO is now facing a $10M claim from the former leading prosecutor of the case.”
She added, “She cannot entirely focus on her recovery and simultaneously lead this county agency.”
In June, Adel’s office filed a motion to dismiss all charges without prejudice that accused protesters of being gang members during an October event last year.
Phoenix police and MCAO prosecutors told a grand jury the protesters met the definition of a criminal street gang because they wore mostly black, carried umbrellas and chanted “All Cops are Bastards,” according to court records obtained by ABC15’s Dave Biscobing.
Prosecutors also testified the protesters could be compared to gangs such as the Bloods, Crips and Hells Angels, Biscobing said in his report.
A week before Adel’s office filed the motion, a judge dismissed the charges with prejudice — meaning prosecutors could refile charges — and called out officials for their “absurd,” “baffling,” and “disingenuous” conduct, according to Biscobing.
Adel said in her statement she would remain in daily contact with her leadership team during her absence.
“For most, this is a private journey but as an elected official I know I am held to a different standard,” Adel said. “At this time, I ask for patience as I seek to better myself for my family, my friends and our community.”