The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) is the third largest public prosecutorial agency in the nation, serving nearly four million residents in the fourth largest county in the U.S. In addition to handling all felony prosecutions in Maricopa County and misdemeanor filings in the county’s justice court system, the office also provides civil legal services to all county agencies. The agency is comprised of more than 1000 full-time employees, including attorneys, investigators, paralegals, victim advocates and support staff.
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.