Arizona AG Brnovich requests report on nearly 200 cases MCAO forced to drop

Mar 18, 2022, 2:59 PM
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Attorney's Office, left, YouTube Screenshot/Mark Brnovich for Senat...
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Attorney's Office, left, YouTube Screenshot/Mark Brnovich for Senate, right)
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Attorney's Office, left, YouTube Screenshot/Mark Brnovich for Senate, right)

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is requesting a detailed report on the nearly 200 cases the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office was forced to drop after charges weren’t filed on time.

Brnovich sent a letter Thursday to County Attorney Allister Adel with concerns that victims of the alleged crimes wouldn’t receive justice because of the failure to prosecute the 180 misdemeanor cases from 2020 before the one-year statute of limitations expired.

He gave a March 31 deadline for Adel’s office to produce the report, which should include information on how MCAO is structured, who is responsible for making sure charges are filed on time and a list of the cases not submitted on time.

The report also asks for an explanation for the inaction and steps that will be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Brnovich requested the report under a state law that gives the attorney general supervisory powers over county attorneys.

The request is the latest development after MCAO confirmed Monday the failure to file the cases.

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.

Adel on Wednesday took responsibility for the slip up.

“I take full responsibility for everything that happens within this office,” Adel said in a statement. “To the victims of these cases, I apologize.

“Victim’s rights is a pillar of my administration and I will endeavor to ensure this error does not happen in the future.”

A day earlier, Gov. Doug Ducey called for accountability in the office, saying the dropped cases are “unacceptable.”

“I think leaders should take accountability for their actions and not blame people on their team,” Ducey said. “The police officers that put their life on the line every day and the victims of these crimes deserve justice.”

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Arizona AG Brnovich requests report on nearly 200 cases MCAO forced to drop