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Posted on: September 4, 2019

Appointment of New Supreme Court Justice, Chief Deputy Leads County Attorney’s Office

PHOENIX— This afternoon Governor Doug Ducey announced the appointment of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to the Arizona Supreme Court to replace Chief Justice Bales. The Governor noted his selection was a candidate who had an understanding of the law, a well-developed judicial philosophy, appreciation for the separation of powers and a dedication to public service.

In the near future, Mr. Montgomery will submit his resignation to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and transition from serving the county as an elected official to serving the state as a Justice on the Arizona Supreme Court.

In a statement to all of the employees of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Mr. Montgomery remarked, “I’ve often said to folks leaving the Office that their departure was bittersweet. Sweet for the new opportunities they were pursuing, but bitter at losing a valued member of our team. Today, it is my own bittersweet moment. Governor Ducey has given me the honor of continuing my public service as the next Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. Over the last nine years, there have been too many moments, accomplishments, successes, and innovations for me to be able to recite them all and run the risk of leaving anything out. Let me simply say that I never had a bad day at the Office and I will miss the great men and women (and Victim Support K-9s) of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.”

After Mr. Montgomery resigns as the elected county attorney, Chief Deputy Rachel Mitchell will assume responsibility for the office until the Board of Supervisors appoints an interim county attorney to serve the remainder of Mr. Montgomery’s term, which ends in January 2021.

Chief Deputy Mitchell has served as a prosecutor with the Office for more than 26 years; initially as a prosecutor responsible for a wide range of felony prosecutions, and then as a prosecutor in the Sex Crimes Bureau. In 2000, Mitchell was promoted to Sex Crimes Bureau Chief, where she earned a national reputation for her experience and competence. In 2017, Mitchell was promoted to Division Chief overseeing the Family Violence Bureaus, Sex Crimes Bureaus, and the Auto Theft Bureau.

Earlier this year Mitchell was promoted to Chief Deputy, which the Board of Supervisors recently approved, and made her the first female Chief Deputy in the history of the office. Chief Deputy Mitchell stated, “I look forward to the future of this Office as we continue our dedication to the people of Maricopa County and work to ensure justice for all victims is at the heart of what we do every day. The legacy left behind by Bill Montgomery and the advances he has made in this Office during nearly a decade of service have helped to make MCAO a national recognized leader in criminal justice and I thank him for his tireless dedication to serving our community.”

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