ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Ducey calls for MCAO accountability after cases dropped: ‘Unacceptable’

Mar 15, 2022, 10:48 AM | Updated: 11:40 am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, left, and Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel (KTAR News Photos)...

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, left, and Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel (KTAR News Photos)

(KTAR News Photos)

PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey called for accountability from Maricopa County Attorney’s Office leadership after nearly 200 criminal cases had to be dropped because charges weren’t filed on time, but he wouldn’t say the agency’s top official should step down.

“This issue’s really unacceptable,” Ducey told reporters Tuesday after an unrelated event in Phoenix. “The police officers that put their life on the line every day and the victims of these crimes deserve justice.”

MCAO, which is responsible for prosecuting crimes in metro Phoenix, confirmed Monday that it failed to file charges in roughly 180 misdemeanor cases from 2020 before the one-year statute of limitations expired.

The Arizona Republic reported that the dropped cases included drunken driving, domestic violence, assault and criminal damage incidents and primarily came from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Public Safety.

While stopping short of calling for County Attorney Allister Adel to resign over the latest scandal to plague her tenure, Ducey said, “I think leaders should take accountability for their actions and not blame people on their team.” Ducey and Adel are both Republicans.

While critical of leadership, Ducey lauded MCAO’s line-level prosecutors, calling them “the unsung heroes of our criminal justice system.”

In an statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday, Sheriff Paul Penzone said he and DPS Director Col. Heston Silbert thought MCAO’s lapses were inexcusable.

“The colonel and I recognize the difficulties in managing complex organizations and the corresponding challenges, but we found nothing to mitigate or exonerate the breadth of this deficiency,” Penzone said.

Last month, following reports that Adel hadn’t been coming to work regularly, five MCAO criminal division chiefs called for her to resign amid ongoing concerns she was unable to run the office while dealing with alcoholism and other health problems.

Prior to Adel taking a leave of absence in August and September of last year to seek treatment for alcohol abuse and an eating disorder, her agency was under scrutiny for filing trumped-up charges against 15 people arrested at an October 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Phoenix.

The agency withdrew all the charges, which painted the protestors as gang members, in June 2021 after a judge dismissed the cases and said prosecutors and police had engaged in “egregious misconduct.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Andrew Enriquez, 22, was arrested Thursday after allegedly shooting and killing 31-year-old Michael...

KTAR.com

Suspect accused of fatally shooting man in Glendale after drug deal dispute

A suspect was arrested several days after allegedly fatally shooting a man in Glendale following a drug deal dispute, authorities said Monday.

57 minutes ago

Dr. Elda Luna-Nájera to replace Leezah Sun's legislative seat...

Serena O'Sullivan

Elda Luna-Nájera will fill Leezah Sun’s vacant seat in Arizona House of Representatives

Elda Luna-Nájera will replace Leezah Sun as the representative of Arizona's Legislative District 22, which is in the West Valley.

4 hours ago

Mega Millions button lit up on a lottery ticket machine...

Kevin Stone

Mega Millions lottery tickets purchased in Scottsdale, Tucson win $50,000 each

Two Arizona Lottery players each won $50,000 in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, officials announced Monday.

5 hours ago

Car crashes into power pole in Phoenix, 2 critically injured...

Serena O'Sullivan

2 men in critical condition after car crashes into power pole in Phoenix

Two men are in critical condition after a car crash involving a power pole in Phoenix on Monday, officials said.

6 hours ago

An image from Google Street View shows the third-party post office between a Jimmy John's and a Dun...

KTAR.com

Southeast Valley shopping center temporarily evacuated after bomb threat

Multiple businesses at a southeast Valley shopping center were temporarily evacuated Monday because of a bomb threat, authorities said.

7 hours ago

A DUI suspect drove down a 200-foot embankment in Cottonwood before a second DUI suspect was arrest...

KTAR.com

Arizona DUI suspect’s car careens down 200-foot embankment before 2nd DUI suspect arrested

A DUI suspect drove down a 200-foot embankment in Arizona on Saturday morning before another DUI suspect attempted to evade police at the crash area, authorities said.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Arizona Gov. Ducey calls for MCAO accountability after cases dropped: ‘Unacceptable’