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Posted on: August 29, 2022

MCAO Wins Big at the 2022 APAAC Awards

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The Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory council provides training and education to prosecutors throughout Arizona. Every year the council hosts a conference recognizing those who’ve made a difference in the world of criminal justice. This year, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office staff received not one but five awards.

Beth Beringhaus and Lisa Martin | 2022 Prosecutor Lifetime Achievement Award

Beth Beringhaus

Since the start of her career at MCAO, Beth has proven to be a hardworking employee dedicated to effectuating positive change. Today as Juvenile Division Chief, Beth is considered a statewide expert on Juvenile law. Within MCAO, Beth highly esteemed by employees and has established a reputation for good humor, good leadership, and contagious laughter. She is that rare prosecutor who is just as respected by her colleagues in the defense bar and on the bench as she is by fellow prosecutors. Beyond the courtroom, Beth has participated in numerous school presentations, mock trials, and career days. She has devoted nearly 25 years to prosecuting with integrity and is well deserving of this recognition.

Lisa Martin

Lisa Marie Martin joined MCAO in 2003 as a Deputy County Attorney in the Appeals Bureau. During her 18-year tenure in the Appeals Bureau, she provided countless hours of research and legal advice to trial prosecutors in some of MCAO’s most complex cases and cases of community interest. Throughout her career, Lisa argued in the Arizona Supreme Court five times and represented the State of Arizona in over 16 published appellate opinions. Her appellate skills are unparalleled, and she has always served as a mentor to new appellate lawyers throughout the State. Lisa’s consistent dedication to the rule of law and prolific contributions to the administration of justice make her deserving of this recognition.  

Brett Reynolds | 2022 Legal Assistant Lifetime Achievement Award

Brett Reynolds has been a paralegal with MCAO’s Sex Crime Bureau since 1999. Throughout his career, Brett proved to be a shining example of professionalism, collaboration, and commitment to justice. From handling a large and complex caseload to fostering relationships with outside agencies, Brett’s dedication has resulted in justice for victims of crime and improved public safety. Congrats on receiving the 2022 APAAC Legal Assistant Lifetime Achievement Award!

Barb Sheetal and RachelSheetal Kumar | 2022 Administrative Professional Lifetime Achievement Award

Sheetal Kumar has been supporting the work of prosecutors, bringing about positive change, and improving efficiency at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for over 20 years. From the start, Sheetal was a force to be reckoned with, earning her first promotion after only six months in the office. As the Legal Management Assistant for the Specialized Prosecution Division 2, she assists the division chief in supporting the work of six prosecution bureaus. Even with such a significant workload, Sheetal contributes beyond her division and is involved in several projects that benefit the entire office. If every other person in the office called out sick one day, Sheetal could singlehandedly keep operations going—she is that good! MCAO and the prosecution community have greatly benefited from her contributions. Congrats Sheetal!

Kristin Starr | 2022 Gerda & Kurt Klein Guardian of Freedom Award 

The Guardian of Freedom Award recognizes a criminal justice professional in an Arizona Prosecution office who demonstrates exceptional professionalism and ethical decision-making in the pursuit of justice. 

As a Deputy County Attorney with the Vehicular Crimes Bureau, Kristin Starr charges felonies for aggravated DUI cases. These cases are complex and require attention to detail as prosecutors review customer driving records from the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). While reviewing the records of an Aggravated DUI suspect, Kristin discovered the suspect’s notice of suspension was never mailed, even though the MVD certified record indicated it was, invalidating an element of the aggravated DUI charge. Kristin’s investigation of the MVD records revealed that over 58,000 MVD customer letters were never mailed between August 2020 and March 2021, creating inaccurate certified MVD records for prosecution agencies across the entire State of Arizona. Thanks to Kristin’s attention to detail, affected MVD customers had their records were corrected, ensuring they were not prosecuted based on inaccurate evidence. Thank you, Kristin, and congratulations on your 2022 Gerda and Kurt Klein Guardian of Freedom Award. 

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