Phoenix, AZ – Since taking office, Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel has focused on making meaningful changes within the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) to ensure transparency and accountability.
Today, County Attorney Adel is announcing an organizational change that will create a centralized process within the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to handle claims of actual innocence, potential inappropriate police conduct including alleged excessive use of force, and other claims of prosecutorial unfairness in handling cases.
Effective July 27, long-time prosecutor Rachel Mitchell will step into a new role as a Special Assistant to the Chief Deputy where she will be in charge of numerous officewide and systemwide projects, but most importantly she will be responsible for a new “Prosecution Integrity Program,” where she will work with defense organizations outside the office and with prosecutors in the office to review and address items of integrity and conduct. One of Mitchell’s first tasks will be to study similar units in other prosecution agencies to help us develop an appropriate framework for our office.
“While these types of matters have been regularly addressed by individual prosecutors and supervisors, I believe we can more effectively address these issues by centralizing the process. As County Attorney, I am committed to making changes where necessary to maximize efficiency and to ensure that our work was being completed in the most ethical and professional manner possible,” stated County Attorney Adel. “This new position will give us the ability to have someone outside the direct supervision of any casework take a fresh look at the decisions made by the prosecutors and supervisors when issues this important are raised.
Adel continued, “Rachel is a seasoned prosecutor with an impeccable reputation. Her experience as a supervisor, trainer, and administrator will be a tremendous asset in this role. I appreciate Rachel’s willingness to help us develop what I expect will become a powerful part of sustaining, and, where needed, regaining the public confidence in the criminal justice system as a true system of justice for all. Prosecutors wield great power and I am committed to ensuring practices and policies within MCAO that will support our culture of ethical excellence every day.”
“I look forward to leading this new effort at the county attorney’s office,” said Ms. Mitchell. “I am dedicated to ensuring MCAO is a leader in this area and believe that the citizens of Maricopa County will be well-served in the development of a Prosecution Integrity Program.”