Maricopa County Attorney Mitchell says inherited case backlog cut down by more than 40%

Apr 25, 2023, 4:05 AM

(Facebook Photo/Greater Phoenix Chamber)...

(Facebook Photo/Greater Phoenix Chamber)

(Facebook Photo/Greater Phoenix Chamber)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said Monday her agency is making good progress in erasing the case backlog and staffing shortage she inherited when she took office last year.

Mitchell told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show the overall charging backlog has been reduced by 43%.

“There were also 800 cases that had been reviewed but not submitted to the court system for felony DUI. That has been eliminated,” she said.

“And then our officer-involved shooting review backlog has also been eliminated.”

Mitchell said building up her staff, which was down 20% a year ago, is helping her office erase the case backlog.

“When I took over, I was hearing a lot of people say ‘this is going to take years to do’ and ‘boy, we got to work very, very quickly’,” she said.

“We also had another 20% that were eligible for retirement. So we are now in the single digits as far as understaffing, and we have more people coming on board as soon as the bar results come out.”

Mitchell was appointed to replace Allister Adel on April 20, 2022.

Adel resigned a month earlier after a tumultuous time in office, including the disclosure that nearly 200 misdemeanor criminal cases had to be dropped because the office didn’t file charges on time.

“We still have a long ways to go in terms of training people and further reducing the backlog, but it is going extremely well,” Mitchell said.

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Maricopa County Attorney Mitchell says inherited case backlog cut down by more than 40%