Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to begin process of appointing interim county attorney

Mar 21, 2022, 4:40 PM | Updated: Mar 22, 2022, 11:55 am

(YouTube Screenshot/Maricopa County)...

(YouTube Screenshot/Maricopa County)

(YouTube Screenshot/Maricopa County)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said Monday it would begin the process of appointing an interim county attorney “in the coming days or weeks” to replace the outgoing Allister Adel.

The Republican announced her resignation, which goes into effect at the end of the week, earlier in the day.

The board will be in charge of appointing an interim county attorney, which has to be a Republican under state law.

The interim will serve in the role leading the country’s third-largest prosecution agency until a new county attorney is selected through a special election.

That election will be a part of the primaries in August. Candidates of any political party have until April 4 at 5 p.m. to file to run for the office.

Candidates on Monday already began putting their names forward, with Republican Anni Foster and Democrat Julie Gunnigle both filing statements of interest.

Gunnigle was defeated by Adel in the 2020 election, while Foster serves as general counsel to Gov. Doug Ducey.

Whoever is elected will serve out the rest of Adel’s term, which runs until Jan. 1, 2025.

“I appreciate Allister Adel’s service to residents as the duly elected county attorney,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said in a statement. “She brought to the office fresh ideas and important reforms, including increased focus on diversion in criminal cases.”

It’s still unclear who will lead the office until an interim is picked.

When Adel missed time following a fall in November 2020 that caused a brain bleed, Chief Deputy Ken Vick and Chief of Staff Candice Copple oversaw daily operations.

Adel didn’t mention a specific reason in her resignation letter, but the announcement gave some closure to a tumultuous period in office, including the recent disclosure that nearly 200 misdemeanor criminal cases had to be dropped because her office didn’t file charges on time.

“In her direct interactions with the Board of Supervisors, she served us well,” Gates said. “I believe Allister’s resignation represents what is best for her, her family, the County’s Attorney Office and the criminal justice system.”

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Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to begin process of appointing interim county attorney