News Flash

MCAO Latest News

Posted on: December 23, 2020

A Year in Review at MCAO

MCAO Building

Anyone can attest that this year has been anything but ordinary, and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office is no exception. This year we've accomplished a lot and made significant changes not only to adapt to a pandemic but to improve our role in the criminal justice system and the way we serve communities in Maricopa County.

Program and Policy Updates

As employees moved into a new building at the start of the year, MCAO began updating office programs and policies. The office introduced a new felony diversion program that focuses on the underlying factors of criminal behavior and provides opportunities for those with low-level, non-violent offenses to enroll in a treatment program. Within the first month, the felony diversion program had referred 1,312 individuals and continues to help reduce recidivism by diverting individuals from the criminal justice system.

During the summer, County Attorney Adel also decided for the office to once again manage uncontested adoptions, a free service for Maricopa County residents. This decision highlights the County Attorney's belief that if a loving couple wants to provide a home to a child in need, a couple's sexual orientation should not be considered.

This fall, County Attorney Adel also updated and released the office's prosecution policies and plea agreements. These updates now allow county prosecutors more freedom to critically assess their cases and make the right choices for the right reasons. For a full list of MCAO policies visit,

Not too long after, the office also deployed a new home detention program for DUI offenses that provides flexibility to staff and reduces the impact of jail time on offenders and their families, all the while making sure they receive an appropriate sentence.

Building Community

In addition to improvements in programs and policies, County Attorney Adel also prioritized improving the transparency and trust with communities across the county. In addition to improving the public records request process's efficiency and developing a data dashboard for case filing information, MCAO also created two advisory boards and a prosecution integrity program.

MCAO's community advisory board and business advisory board were created to build trust and create a pathway for open communication with our communities. These advisory boards will bring perspective and help our office learn first hand about the issues affecting communities and businesses in the valley. Likewise, these boards will learn about MCAO's operations and our role within the criminal justice system.

To help ensure transparency and accountability, MCAO developed the prosecution integrity program to handle claims of actual innocence, potential inappropriate police conduct, including alleged excessive use of force, and other claims of prosecutorial unfairness in handling cases.

Our Workforce

In addition to their office work, MCAO employees remained involved in their communities throughout the year by volunteering at Shred-A-Thons, at the Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life conference, and the Arizona Veterans Stand Down Alliance. Employees also raised funds for Arizona BrainFood, organized donations to domestic violence shelters, and participated in the County's Combined Charitable Campaign. Our employees are one of a kind, and their dedication to public service and community improvement doesn't go unnoticed. This year, a number of our employees were also recognized for their commitment and hard work.

  • DCA, Casey Mundell- Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Top Ten Animal Defender in the Country
  • DCA, Addison Owen and Edward Leiter- FBI Director Certificate of Commendation Award
  • Director of Communications, Jennifer Liewer- Phoenix New Times Best Public Information Officer
  • Asset Recovery Bureau Chief, Peter Spaw- 2020 APAAC Lifetime Achievement Award
  • DCA, Tessa Hudstead-2020 APAAC Rising Star of the Year Award

Supporting Victims of Crime

On its own, the criminal justice system can be incredibly confusing and stressful for victims of crime. Adding COVID-19 concerns to the mix, it is especially important that victims feel supported and have the resources they need during this time. Our victim advocates have worked hard this year to make sure that happens by notifying victims of changes to court proceedings, setting up a check-in station, making arrangements for victims to participate in court proceedings telephonically, and much more.

Making sure victims can participate in the criminal justice system upholds victims' constitutional rights. It empowers them to take control, provides them with an opportunity to share their story, and for many to receive closure. Our office will continue to protect victims' rights through advocacy, support, and services while doing our part to stop the spread of this deadly disease.

Holding Criminals Accountable and Keeping Communities Safe Across Maricopa County

This year the COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of our operations at MCAO. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the criminal justice system, County Attorney Adel asked prosecutors to review cases based on the nature of the crime, criminal history, input from victims, and public safety.

Even with these changes, our prosecutors and staff had a busy year. According to our preliminary data, our office has had 40,778 referrals so far this year. Among these, the most common types of crime were drug offenses and aggravated assault, making up 14.1% and 5.5% of all referrals submitted to our office, respectively.

Once a case is referred to the office, it is up to our attorneys to decide if they will file a case or not. From these referrals, 20,525 cases were filed by our attorneys and 19,673 cases were disposed. Of the cases that were disposed, 10,323 or 52.5% of them concluded with a plea agreement or guilty verdict and 47.5% of them were dismissed.

While cases were filed from all areas in Maricopa County, the East Phoenix and Scottsdale community bureau filed the most cases making up 9.3% of all cases followed by the Mesa and North Central Phoenix community bureaus filing 8.4% and 7.8% of all cases, respectively.

While there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at MCAO, we hope this summary of our work and accomplishments this year reinforces our commitment to public safety and crime prevention in Maricopa County. From everyone at MCAO, we thank you for your support and look forward to another year of service.

See you next year!

To see more case data visit,
Note: 2020 Case Data is currently not available on the MCAO Data Dashboard.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in MCAO Latest News

Death Penalty for Murderer in Church Volunteer Case

Posted on: February 29, 2024 | Last Modified on: January 29, 2021

Grand Jury Indicts Raad Almansoori

Posted on: February 27, 2024

Man Accused of Mistreatment of Puppy Arrested

Posted on: February 21, 2024 | Last Modified on: January 29, 2021

Gilbert Aggravated Assault Defendants Indicted

Posted on: February 1, 2024 | Last Modified on: January 29, 2021

West Valley Mall Shooter Sentenced

Posted on: January 19, 2024

Defendant Indicted for Sexual Assault

Posted on: October 30, 2023

Vehicular Heatstroke is Animal Abuse

Posted on: July 10, 2023
Photo of the logo for World Elder Abuse Day

Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Posted on: June 15, 2023
Photo of a baby tiger.

Defendant Selling Wild Tiger Cub Indicted

Posted on: February 28, 2023

Thank You for Your Service

Posted on: February 1, 2023

No Charges for Officer Conduct

Posted on: January 30, 2023
Photos of MCAO employees

A Year in Review

Posted on: December 20, 2022

MCAO Wins Big at the 2022 APAAC Awards

Posted on: August 29, 2022
Website Graphics (1)

Help Deter Catalytic Converter Thefts

Posted on: August 22, 2022
A person reaching for a pair of car keys after they've been drinking.

Celebrate Safely this Fourth of July

Posted on: June 28, 2022
Someone offering support to an older adult

June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Posted on: June 15, 2022
Tori posing in front of a background and flags

K-9 Victim Advocate Tori is Retiring!

Posted on: April 26, 2022

MCAO’s Citizens Academy Is Back!

Posted on: March 28, 2022

Meet our New Community Affairs Coordinator

Posted on: February 21, 2022

Stay Aware of Teen Dating Violence

Posted on: February 14, 2022
New employee meeting other employees at new job

Start the Year with a New Career

Posted on: January 19, 2022

MCAO Year in Review

Posted on: December 21, 2021
An image of caution tape and police sirens

Year in Review: 2021 Crime Trends

Posted on: December 14, 2021
A family gathering around their holiday decorations

Holiday Home and Travel Safety

Posted on: December 6, 2021
Woman shopping online for holiday gifts

Get Gifts, Not Scams this Holiday Season

Posted on: November 22, 2021
Phone Scams

How to Avoid Scams Calls

Posted on: November 15, 2021
Photo of soldier holding an American flag

Honoring All Who Serve on Veterans Day

Posted on: November 10, 2021
Photo of the twin towers

20th Anniversary of September 11th

Posted on: September 10, 2021
Image of girl with the text

Talk to Teens About Substance Abuse

Posted on: August 23, 2021
A man stealing a wallet out of someone's backpack

Practice Personal Safety in Layers

Posted on: August 16, 2021
Two students reading over documents

Internship Opportunities at MCAO

Posted on: July 29, 2021
Someone looking into a parked vehicle

Keep Your Vehicle Safe this Summer

Posted on: July 5, 2021
Utility Scams

Summer Safety Series: Utility Scams

Posted on: June 21, 2021
Three Children Holding Hands

National Missing Children's Day

Posted on: May 24, 2021
Student wearing graduation cap and gown

A Career in Public Service

Posted on: May 4, 2021

Employee Spotlight: Aisha Robertson

Posted on: April 26, 2021
Victim Advocates

The Importance of Victims’ Rights

Posted on: April 22, 2021
Lady Justice

Understanding Victims’ Rights

Posted on: April 19, 2021
Protect Your Vehicle From Theft

Spring Break Tips: Prevent Car Theft

Posted on: March 15, 2021
Report Graffiti

Report Graffiti in Your Community

Posted on: February 22, 2021
Protect Your Identity

Have You Checked Your Credit Report?

Posted on: March 29, 2021
Online Dating

Swipe Safe with These Online Dating Tips

Posted on: February 8, 2021
Woman Cleaning Counter

Labor Trafficking amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on: January 25, 2021
Crime Scene Tape

2020 Snapshot: Crime Across the Valley

Posted on: December 7, 2020
Man placing Credit Card info into Laptop

Shop Safely Online this Holiday Season

Posted on: November 30, 2020
Female domestic violence victim packing suitcase with clothing

Make a Safety Plan to Get Out

Posted on: October 19, 2020
Teen Girl Texting

Remind Teens to Think Before They Send

Posted on: September 28, 2020
County Attorney Allister Adel

Body-Worn Camera Request

Posted on: September 23, 2020
Online Bully

Online Bullying During COVID

Posted on: September 21, 2020
Animal Cruelty

Report Animal Abuse to Law Enforcement

Posted on: September 14, 2020
Labor Day DUI Reminder

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend Safely

Posted on: September 3, 2020
Pills on table

International Overdose Awareness Day

Posted on: August 31, 2020

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Scams

Posted on: July 23, 2020
Two Girls on Laptops

What are the risks of livestreaming?

Posted on: July 13, 2020

What is a Prosecutor?

Posted on: June 25, 2020
Man Vaping

Vaping Warning Signs for Parents

Posted on: June 18, 2020

Help Prevent Opioid Abuse at Home

Posted on: June 16, 2020
Sunset Over Canal and Homes

Keep Your Home Safe this Summer

Posted on: June 4, 2020
Looking through a car windshield at night. The lights are blurred.

Don’t Graduate into a DUI

Posted on: May 19, 2020
Happy Mothers Day

Honoring MCAO Moms

Posted on: May 8, 2020
COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams

Stimulus Check Scams

Posted on: May 7, 2020
National Law Day 2020

It’s National Law Day

Posted on: May 1, 2020
Angela Andrews

Collaboration is Key

Posted on: April 30, 2020
Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Posted on: April 24, 2020
Heather Kirka

Charging Ahead and Working Together

Posted on: April 23, 2020
Census form on flag

We All Benefit When We Respond

Posted on: April 16, 2020
Brittany Hogard

Keeping the Wheels of Justice Rolling

Posted on: April 15, 2020
Person typing on computer keyboard

Be a Smart Online User

Posted on: April 13, 2020
Avoid Coronavirus Scams

COVID-19 Scam Awareness

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Community Outreach Highlights

Posted on: March 1, 2020
Allister with Female Staff

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Posted on: March 1, 2020
2020 Census Advertisement - Shape your Future, Start Here

YOU Count: Fill Out the Census Today

Posted on: March 1, 2020

Update On Petersen Investigation

Posted on: December 11, 2019

MCAO Honors Our Veterans

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Dion Earl Found Guilty on All Charges

Posted on: August 22, 2019

MCAO Launches Community Grants Webpage

Posted on: August 12, 2016

Update on Green Acre Dog Boarding Deaths

Posted on: September 22, 2014

National Geographic - Taboo

Posted on: August 31, 2012