Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel Resigns

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel speaks at a news conference Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Jacques Billeaud)

By Robert Gundran

March 21, 2022

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel announced Monday that she is resigning effective Friday.

Adel was under investigations by both the State Bar of Arizona and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors after she was accused of being absent from the office and drunkenly calling a member of her staff after work hours.

Adel underwent emergency surgery on election night for a brain bleed. She was back full-time by the following spring. In August, she went to rehab for alcohol abuse, an eating disorder and other issues. In September, she confirmed she was working remotely from an out-of-state treatment facility.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates sent a letter to Adel in February asking for her resignation.

Adel was also in hot water with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office after her office reportedly failed to file charges in 180 misdemeanor cases before the statute of limitation expired.

Adel’s office and the Phoenix Police Department also were criticized heavily in a now-discredited gang case brought against demonstrators at an October 2020 protest against police brutality.

Lawyers hired by the city to investigate the failure said authorities didn’t have credible evidence to support the claim that protesters were members of an anti-police gang. Adel had acknowledged that her office made mistakes in the case.

“I am proud of the many accomplishments of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office during my tenure, including policies that seek justice in a fair and equitable manner, hold violent offenders accountable, protect the rights of crime victims, and keep families safe,” Adel said in her resignation announcement.

Adel was first appointed to lead Arizona’s largest prosecutor’s office in 2019 and won her election to the office as a Republican in November 2020.

The Board of Supervisors will appoint Adel’s temporary replacement.

According to Arizona law, since Adel resigned before the primary election filing deadline of April 4, a primary and general election will be held this year to fill her seat until the end of the term on Jan. 1, 2025.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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