GOP candidate for Maricopa County Attorney wants to work on mending relationship with police
PHOENIX — Republican Maricopa County Attorney candidate Anni Foster said Friday she would work on improving the relationship between the office and law enforcement if elected to the position.
“What I’m hearing is that the relationship has really broken down between the county attorney’s office and law enforcement,” Foster told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show. “I’m hearing that they don’t have a lot of faith in what’s going on over there.”
Fellow Republican Allister Adel resigned from the role last week following a tumultuous time in office, including the recent disclosure that nearly 200 misdemeanor criminal cases had to be dropped because the office didn’t file charges on time.
Foster, formerly chief of staff of the Arizona Department of Public Safety and currently Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s general counsel, said leadership is what’s needed in the office.
“I think at the line level, we have individual prosecutors and officers out on the street who are working together to serve the citizens the best that they can, but what we need is leadership,” she said. “We need a leader in that office who’s going to go out and meet with our police chiefs, hear what’s going on with them, make sure that the county attorneys understand exactly what their concerns are.”
Foster said law enforcement feels officer-involved shootings are not getting handled in a timely fashion and there is a backlog of cases without a clear understanding of where they stand, which she attributed, in part, to staffing issues at the county attorney’s office.
“I don’t know that many people realize this but the salaries at the prosecutor’s office are really low,” she said. “We’re in a job market right now where unemployment is so low options are abound for anyone, and that includes our prosecutors. If they can go and work somewhere else and make a lot more money, they’re going to.
“We need to make sure that we’ve got people who are willing to work and understand the role of the job, but we also need to support them and that’s through not just working with the board of supervisors and making sure they’re getting paid what they deserve but also just being out there and showing them that someone is leading them and speaking up for them.”
Democrat Julie Gunnigle and Republican Gina Godbehere have officially collected enough signatures to be on the ballot.