The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is one of the nation’s largest public prosecutorial agencies, serving nearly four million residents in the fourth largest county in the U.S. We have more than 900 full time employees, including attorneys, investigators, paralegals, victim advocates and support staff, each of whom is committed to the ideals expressed on our official seal: service with integrity, ensuring justice for all.
The mission of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is to deliver high-quality prosecution, comprehensive victims services, crime prevention programs and legal representation for County government on behalf of the people of Maricopa County, to provide a safe and well-governed community.
The Arizona State Constitution, under Article 12, Section 3, provides for each county a number of elected officials, among them a County Attorney. The power and duties of the Maricopa County Attorney are enumerated throughout Arizona’s Revised Statutes; specifically A.R.S. § 11-401; A.R.S. § 11-531 et seq.
The County Attorney is the chief prosecutor for the County, and according to A.R.S. § 11-531, “No person shall be eligible for the office of county attorney unless he is an attorney at law, licensed and in good standing in this state.” The County Attorney is responsible for prosecuting all felonies that occur in Maricopa County and all misdemeanors that occur in unincorporated areas. In addition, the County Attorney serves as legal counsel for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and all County departments.
Current Maricopa County Attorney
BILL MONTGOMERY (2010-Present) Bill Montgomery was elected in 2010 on a pledge to fight crime, honor victims’ rights, and protect and strengthen our community. As a West Point Graduate, decorated Gulf War Veteran, professional prosecutor and former Deputy County Attorney, he has dedicated his personal and professional life to serving others.
»See Bill Montgomery’s page for more…
Past Maricopa County Attorneys
Richard M. Romley (2010, Interim) Rick Romley led the County Attorney’s Office for 16 years and has had a private practice since 2004. His return to the County Attorney’s Office continues his record of ensuring public safety and enhancing the quality of community life while being responsible and transparent in the use of taxpayer funds.
Philip J. MacDonnell (2010, Interim) Phil MacDonnell became Chief Deputy County Attorney in 2005 under Andrew Thomas. He has also clerked for Judge Ozell Trask of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, served in the administration of former Attorney’s Generals Bruce Babbitt, Jack LaSota and Bob Corbin. Phil MacDonnell had a short stint as County Attorney for only 16 days when Andrew Thomas vacated the office on the 1st of April 2010.
Andrew P. Thomas (2005-2010) Elected Maricopa County Attorney in November 2004, Andrew Thomas is recognized as a noted author and leading authority on the criminal justice system. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1991. After graduating from law school, Andrew moved to the Valley of the Sun and joined a large law firm in Phoenix , where he practiced civil litigation. Leaving private practice in 1994 to serve as an Assistant Attorney General for Arizona, he prosecuted both civil and criminal cases.
Richard M. Romley (1989-2004) During his 16 years as Maricopa County Attorney, Rick Romley became nationally recognized as a leader in criminal justice issues. Mr. Romley took a leadership role in many prosecution, prevention and reform policies, including: adoption of a constitutional amendment guaranteeing rights to crime victims in Arizona; rewriting Arizona’s Criminal Code, which resulted in “Truth in Sentencing,” requiring criminals to serve their full sentences; reforming Arizona’s juvenile justice system; and creation of two nationally-recognized drug demand reduction programs.
Tom Collins (1981-1988) Tom Collins moved to Arizona in 1966 after returning from a tour of duty as a Marine in Vietnam. He received his Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University in 1972. He became a Phoenix police officer, and also worked in private practice before becoming Maricopa County Attorney. Following his tenure as County Attorney, Mr. Collins moved to Sierra Vista and became a Deputy County Attorney in Cochise County. Currently, he is a Cochise County Superior Court Judge.
Charles F. Hyder (1977-1980) A career prosecutor, Chuck Hyder was Chief Deputy County Attorney for several years before becoming Maricopa County Attorney in 1977. During his tenure, he started the Adult Diversion Program. In 1983, Mr. Hyder was appointed an Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Donald Harris (1976-1977, Interim) Donald W. Harris’s time as Maricopa County Attorney was short but not uneventful. During his term, Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles was killed in a car bombing in June 1976. This case sparked national interest. Mr. Harris currently has a successful private law practice in Phoenix.
Moise Berger (1969-1976) Moise Berger, who was Bob Corbin’s chief assistant, succeeded his former boss and was elected Maricopa County Attorney in 1969. Serving until 1976, Mr. Berger resigned his office and moved to California, where he accepted a position as Professor of Law at what was Western State College of Law (now Thomas Jefferson School of Law).
Bob Corbin (1965-1968) Bob Corbin’s name is synonymous with tough prosecution in Arizona. As Maricopa County Attorney, he successfully prosecuted Ernesto Miranda in his 1965 retrial in Maricopa County Superior Court. (Miranda v. Arizona was a landmark Supreme Court case from 1966 that established the Miranda rights issued by police officers upon arrest of a defendant.) After his years as County Attorney, Mr. Corbin served on the Arizona Board of Supervisors, and served three terms as Arizona Attorney General, during which time he prosecuted numerous land fraud and public corruption cases.
Charles Ronan (1961-1964) Charles Ronan arrived in Arizona in 1935. He joined the Army in 1942, and after his discharge in 1945, he became a Deputy County Attorney in Maricopa County, then an extension manager at the Better Business Bureau before becoming Maricopa County Attorney in 1961. In 1962, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office tried 382 felony jury cases, a total exceeded only by Los Angeles County in California. Mr. Ronan also was the first manager of the Associate Hospital Service of Arizona (Blue Cross).
Charles Stidham (1957-1960) When he was 7 years old, Charles C. Stidham and his family moved to Arizona. He graduated from Phoenix Union High School and attended what is now Arizona State University. After a stint in the Army Air Force during World War II, Mr. Stidham received his law degree from the University of Arizona. During his time as Maricopa County Attorney, Mr. Stidham set up a central record filing system, and established separate divisions to handle complaints, civil actions and superior court trials.
William Mahoney (1953-1956) William P. Mahoney, Jr., born in Prescott, had a prestigious political and law career. In addition to his tenure as Maricopa County Attorney, Mr. Mahoney was a Trial Judge Advocate in the Pacific war crimes trials following World War II. He was instrumental in getting convictions of the Japanese officers responsible for the execution of 102 American war prisoners on Wake Island. In 1962, Mr. Mahoney was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ghana by President John F. Kennedy.
Warren McCarthy (1950-1952) An Arizona native, Warren L. McCarthy hailed from a pioneer family who settled in Arizona in 1876. Mr. McCarthy served as an Army Air Force First Lieutenant in World War II. After his discharge from the war, he became a Deputy County Attorney, then rose to Chief Civil Deputy for Maricopa County before becoming Maricopa County Attorney. As County Attorney, Mr. McCarthy was known for his vigorous prosecution of confidence game activities. In 1955, he was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court, where he served as a Judge until 1985.
Francis Donofrio (1947-1949) Francis Donofrio nearly missed becoming a lawyer. His first ambition was to manufacture sweets, but he turned to law instead and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1936. During his tenure as Maricopa County Attorney, Mr. Donofrio had an outstanding record — just 3 cases lost out of hundreds he prepared and prosecuted in Maricopa County Superior Court. Mr. Donofrio was appointed as a Superior Court Judge in 1949, where he served until he was appointed to the Court of Appeals, Division 1, in 1965.
Ed Beauchamp (1945-1946) James Edwin “Ed” Beauchamp came to Arizona with his family in 1919. He attended Phoenix College and graduated from the University of Arizona Law School in 1940. Mr. Beauchamp served as Deputy County Attorney for four years before becoming Maricopa County Attorney in 1945. From 1947 to 1949, he served as a Superior Court Judge. He was president of the Maricopa County Bar Association in 1953, and was credited with helping to design an intoxication test used by law enforcement agencies across the State.
Harold Scoville (1943-1944) Harold R. Scoville graduated with a law degree from the University of Arizona. He was a prominent Phoenix attorney and judge, in addition to serving as Maricopa County Attorney for two years. From 1943 to 1947, Mr. Scoville served as a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, and he was a founder and first president of the Arizona Boys Ranch, a juvenile rehabilitation facility in Queen Creek.
Richard Harless (1939-1942) Richard Harless started out with a medical degree in mind, but switched to law, receiving his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1933. He was appointed Assistant City Attorney in 1935, then became the Assistant Attorney General in 1936. By New Year’s Eve 1938, he was Maricopa County Attorney, and by 1940 he had prosecuted one of the largest cases to date: the Robert Burgunder murder case. After four years as County Attorney, Mr. Harless was elected to the United States Congress, where he co-authored the GI Bill of Rights, obtained the vote for Native Americans, obtained funds to build Sky Harbor International Airport and was responsible for bringing a veterans hospital to Phoenix.
John W. Corbin (1937-1938) John Walker Corbin served as Deputy County Attorney from 1929 until he was elected Maricopa County Attorney in 1937. Mr. Corbin also served as City Attorney for Glendale, Tolleson and Wickenburg from 1945 to 1959.
Harry Johnson (1935-1936) Harry Johnson is considered a pioneer legislator, and with good reason. He was a member of the 1st Arizona Legislature. One of the 1st Legislature’s initial acts was to establish the superior, juvenile, justice of the peace and police courts in Arizona. Mr. Johnson served four legislative terms in addition to his two years as Maricopa County Attorney.
Renz Jennings (1933-1934) Renz Jennings’ youth did not point toward a prestigious law career. Orphaned at an early age, Mr. Jennings grew up poor and lived with his sister, then later a brother. But he proved that anyone can go far with hard work and perseverance. Mr. Jennings passed the State Bar Exam in 1926, one of only seven people to pass the exam that year. Not only did he serve as Maricopa County Attorney, he was a state legislator, Deputy Attorney General, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge and an Arizona Supreme Court Justice.
Lloyd Andrews (1931-1932) A World War I veteran pilot and instructor, Lloyd J. “Dogie” Andrews only served as Maricopa County Attorney for two years, but in that short time he successfully prosecuted one of the most gruesome murder cases in American history: the Winnie Ruth Judd murders. Ms. Judd, also known as the “Trunk Murderess,” was found guilty of shooting and dismembering her two female roommates, and transporting their remains on a train bound for Los Angeles.
George T. Wilson (1927-1930) Before becoming Maricopa County Attorney, George Thayer Wilson served as Chief Deputy U.S. Attorney for Arizona for three years. During that time, he prosecuted over 1,000 violations of the then-National Prohibition Act, and prosecuted 600 other cases including bank cases, murder charges, fraud and theft. Mr. Wilson resigned from the U.S. Attorney position to run for Maricopa County Attorney.
A.T. LaPrade (1925-1926) Born in Winslow and the son of a Northern Arizona pioneer, Arthur T. LaPrade was a well-known and well-respected attorney and judge in Arizona. In addition to his two years as Maricopa County Attorney, Mr. LaPrade served as Arizona Attorney General and was elected twice to the Maricopa County Superior Court. He was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in 1945, and served as Chief Justice in 1949-50 and 1955-56.
Gene Cunningham (1923-1924) Gene Samuel Cunningham was a prominent Arizona attorney before and after his two-year term as Maricopa County Attorney. A World War I veteran, Mr. Cunningham was a civil advisor for County Officers and a Special City Attorney. He also served as the president of the Maricopa County Bar Association in 1927.
R.E.L. Shepherd (1921-1922) Born in Missouri in 1876, Robert E.L. Shepherd moved to Arizona in 1917, and just five years later, he was elected Maricopa County Attorney. Mr. Shepherd took office on Monday, January 3, 1921. By the next day, he had successfully prosecuted the first felony case of his administration. Mr. Shepherd also successfully prosecuted what was one of the biggest cases at that time: the Tomas Roman murder case. Mr. Roman was found guilty of shooting to death a night marshal and a 10-year-old boy, and wounding another man during a robbery attempt in Tempe.
Lynn M. Laney (1917-1920) Lynn Laney had a long history of serving the community in Arizona. In addition to serving four years as Maricopa County Attorney, Mr. Laney was a Phoenix City Commissioner, and he served numerous years on the Arizona Board of Regents of Universities and State Colleges.
Clyde M. Gandy (1915-1916) Clyde Gandy, a general in the Spanish-American War, was Deputy County Attorney under Frank Lyman. When Mr. Lyman was appointed to the Superior Court, Mr. Gandy stepped in as Maricopa County Attorney. After two years as County Attorney, Mr. Gandy was Assistant State Attorney General, then a Civil Deputy acting as legal advisor to the County Supervisors.
Frank H. Lyman (1912-1915) As the first Maricopa County Attorney and a pioneer in the Arizona judicial system, Frank Lyman achieved an excellent record by taming the lawless in The Old West. Mr. Lyman was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1915, and was elected to the Arizona Supreme Court in 1922.