Maricopa County Attorney Adel addresses questions about fitness for office

Feb 7, 2022, 10:15 AM | Updated: 12:36 pm

PHOENIX – Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel said Monday her sobriety is important to her and her family and that she is fit to perform her high-profile job.

“I’m absolutely an alcoholic and that’s why when I get myself into a situation where I’m concerned or I even have a craving, I immediately pick up the phone and call my sponsor, call my therapist,” Adel told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“My recovery is important to me – physically, emotionally, mentally important to my family. … I have to maintain sobriety if I’m going to be successful not just as county attorney, but as a community leader and a wife and a mom.”

An Arizona Republic report last week said Adel’s staff was concerned with her absences from work and that one leadership team member reported to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates her speech was slurred during a phone call in November.

In the report, she attributed January absences to having come down with COVID-19.

“It’s unfortunate that someone’s personal recovery journey has to be so politicized. I meet with my senior management team regularly,” Adel said Monday.

“… It should be private, but that’s OK. I know that I have a very public position and quite frankly it helps hold me accountable as well.”

Adel announced Sept. 10, 2021, that she had taken a leave of absence from her job to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse and an eating disorder. She had already been in a California facility undergoing treatment for nearly two weeks by then, she has since acknowledged.

The county’s chief prosecutor returned to work Sept. 20.

Adel said as the child of an alcoholic, she has “worked the steps before” while attending Al-Anon and Alateen meetings.

“This is a journey but I’m happy to be on it. … I’m just going to keep working on my program. That’s all I can do.”

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Maricopa County Attorney Adel addresses questions about fitness for office