PHOENIX, AZ (January 7, 2013) - Bill Montgomery was sworn in today to begin his first, full four-year term as the Maricopa County Attorney. After a whirlwind first two years, serving out the remainder of the previous elected County Attorney’s term, Montgomery noted several major accomplishments and outlined important goals for the future.
“We began by reconstructing the civil services division to focus on delivering quality legal services to county agencies and officials, as well as the process of rebuilding the attorney-client relationship between my office and the Board of Supervisors. We also instituted a new first-line supervisor managerial focus pushing decision-making to the lowest levels possible to improve the handling of criminal cases and place responsibility with the professionals we hire to serve the people of Maricopa County. Additionally, we embarked on a concerted effort to partner with law enforcement agencies throughout the Valley to identify opportunities to improve communication and initiatives to protect and strengthen our community, including innovative approaches to particular offenses such as domestic violence strangulation cases. Lastly, we tackled tough investigations and issues such as the Fiesta Bowl and reform of our child protection system while also pushing for further protections of the rights of victims of crime. Through it all, dedicated partners in law enforcement, the Governor’s Office, and the Legislature have and are making real differences on behalf of the people of Maricopa County and Arizona.”
As for the next four years, Montgomery identified several key areas of focus for the short term. “We need to address compensation for the employees of the County Attorney’s Office. Stagnant salaries for the last five years have led to significant losses in experienced prosecutors and turnover throughout the Office. We also need to press forward with continued review and reform of our child protection system and to improve the ability of law enforcement to share and process data across the Valley and State. In addition, I believe this legislative session presents a prime opportunity to deliver on significant reforms first identified after the Fiesta Bowl investigation and from the most recent investigation involving candidate and independent expenditure committee coordination.”
Montgomery concluded by expressing optimism in addressing present and future issues with a new Board of Supervisors. “Although we have two new supervisors coming in, the steady and sure leadership of Andy Kunasek as the next Chairman provides a necessary degree of continuity with the fresh energy and enthusiasm of Steve Chucri and Denny Barney. I look forward to working with them very much.”