This month, two outstanding employees retired from MCAO. Juvenile Division Chief Beth Beringhaus and Investigations Division Chief Mark Stribling have had exceptional careers at MCAO and made a lasting impression on the office. Read more about their careers below.
Beth Beringhaus graduated with a psychology degree from Miami University before heading to Northern Kentucky University Law School. After graduating, she practiced law in Ohio for several years before she took a break to raise her two sons. The family moved to Arizona in the mid-1990s, where she applied to work at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. "I came to MCAO over 23 years ago to begin a second career in my forties."
After joining the office, Beth quickly established a reputation for good humor, good leadership, and prosecuting with integrity. Having worked in various assignments throughout the office, Beth found her place in the Juvenile Crimes Division, becoming Division Chief in 2013. "In juvenile justice, I discovered my passion. In the Juvenile Division, I found my work family. It has been challenging, humbling, and rewarding to have had the opportunity to lead this remarkable division. Often underappreciated, their role is fundamental to community safety."
As Juvenile Division Chief, Beth was a statewide expert on juvenile law and related issues and frequently supported other divisions in the office and their prosecution efforts. Throughout her entire career, Beth has been described as extremely hardworking, dedicated, and always willing to help regardless of the task. Her colleagues shared, "She is that rare prosecutor who is just as respected by her colleagues in the defense bar and on the bench as fellow prosecutors."
As a mentor and supervisor, Beth was always prepared, had good judgment, and communicated well. Even with the workload and responsibilities of a Division Chief, Beth was frequently involved in the community, participating in school presentations, mock trials, and career fays.
When asked what she will miss the most about working at MCAO, she shared that she will miss the people the most. "From my early days in 'prelims' to my last in senior management, I have been educated and supported by passionate and caring coworkers. I will miss the people who come to work every day with the united purpose of making our community a better place to live. I will miss their laughter, guidance, accomplishments, and resilience."
Her advice to those starting their career in criminal justice is to "be flexible, accountable, open to growth, and remember to laugh."
Chief Mark Stribling began his career as a homicide detective with the Phoenix PD. As he was getting ready to retire after 21 years with the police force, he was asked by then County Attorney Rick Romley to conduct one final investigation involving the death of a patient at an abortion clinic. What was meant to be a one-year investigation and trial turned into a 24-year career with the County Attorney's Office.
Throughout his career at MCAO, Chief Stribling has enjoyed investigating various crimes ranging from political corruption cases to cold case homicides. His work was acknowledged by then Governor Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Terry Goddard when he received an award for Outstanding Sexual Assault Investigator in 2003.
While Chief Stribling has much to be proud of, he thinks that he is most proud of the investigation of the Diocese of Phoenix and the resulting indictments and prison sentence of eight priests who were molesting young boys, most of them who were altar boys at the church, a case he worked on with now County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. During his time as Chief of Investigations, he is also proud of the positive impact the detectives and employees of that division had on the community.
Now on his "second" retirement, Chief Stribling looks forward to spending more time with his wife. He believes he has probably spent more time with people at work over the last 24 years than with her. Chief Stribling and his wife will move to Tennessee to start a new chapter in their lives. Of course, he also looks forward to playing more golf and fishing but will miss the people he has worked with who have become very close friends.
His advice to new employees is to learn from those who have worked here for years, as those people have experienced the highs and lows of this job and can help you navigate the good and not-so-good times.