PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) is the nation’s third-largest prosecutorial agency. Despite only being appointed to the office a little over a year ago, County Attorney Adel has a mounting list of questionable actions and policies that have raised concerns about whether or not she’s the right person for the job.
Understanding Of The Job Scrutinized:
In a recent interview, Adel grossly mischaracterized the constitutionally-mandated process for disclosing “Brady” evidence of officers’ misconduct in criminal cases. This complete ignorance of how the law works drew ire from law enforcement professionals across the state.
Earlier this week, Adel spoke at the Maricopa County Bar Association Candidates Forum and gave long-winded, incoherent explanations of her positions as a candidate that further exacerbated suspicions that she may not have a solid grasp of the duties of her position.
An ACLU report released this year paints a troubling picture of the MCAO under Adel’s leadership. The report finds that the MCAO is more likely to dismiss cases, or never file them at all, against white individuals than people of any other ethnicity. Black and Latino Arizonans prosecuted by the MCAO spend significantly more time incarcerated than white people.
Potentially Using The Office To Advance A Political Campaign:
Adel has also faced criticism for using her office to advance her re-election campaign. MCAO is running a series of television ads featuring Adel that could be construed as campaign ads, the digital campaign is being charged to taxpayers to the tune of $80,000.
Matt Grodsky, Arizona Democratic Party spokesman, issued the following:
“County Attorney Adel’s Democratic challenger, Julie Gunnigle, is running on a campaign to restore transparency and competence to MCAO. She understands the complexities of the criminal justice system and has the track record and experience that will bring solutions to the problems currently facing the office. Voters in her county are encouraged to tune in to the upcoming debate so they can hear the stark differences between these two candidates for themselves.”
The candidates’ debate on KTAR’s Think Tank will air today from 3-4 p.m. and Sunday from 9-10 p.m. More information on the Democratic candidates in Maricopa County can be found here.