County Attorney Adel attributes reported absences from work to contracting COVID-19
Feb 2, 2022, 5:47 PM | Updated: 5:53 pm
(Photo from AllisterAdel.com)
PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel on Wednesday responded to claims of being absent from work, saying she contracted COVID-19 in January.
An Arizona Republic article said Adel was under scrutiny from her staff and other elected officials about absences from work and her sobriety five months after checking out of an out-of-state rehab facility for anxiety, alcohol abuse and an eating disorder.
“I did contract COVID in January, along with my children, and following quarantine guidance missed a few key meetings I would have liked to attend in person,” Adel said in a statement responding to the article.
“Please know that I am involved and care deeply about this office and the people I serve. I am passionate about my vocation and will do everything possible to continue to bring professionalism and fairness to the office instead of conjecture and hearsay.”
Adel added she is most certainly involved in the day-to-day operations of the office and conducts regular meetings with key members and her staff.
The article said a member of Adel’s leadership team was alarmed by the county attorney’s slurred speech and demeanor during a November phone call and reported it to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates.
Gates told the newspaper he immediately confronted Adel about the allegations and she did not deny the concerns raised about her possibly drinking again.
Adel in the statement said she continues to address her alcohol use and eating disorder.
“As you can imagine, this is a journey, and I am committed to working the vigorous programs that my doctors and counselors recommend,” Adel said in the statement.
“I am not perfect, have never claimed to be perfect, and remain firm in my desire to be better and stay healthy.”
Adel’s time in the position has been tumultuous since becoming the first elected female Maricopa County Attorney in the 2020 election.
A brain injury hospitalized her on the day she officially won the office after a fall at home, with her later undergoing emergency surgery for bleeding in the brain.
Adel defeated Democratic challenger Julie Gunnigle to remain in the position she was appointed to after taking over for Bill Montgomery who he left for a seat on the state Supreme Court.