Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Seal
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
Justice for All
May 2019
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery

The tragedy we work to prevent each year through our Vehicular Heatstroke campaign has unfortunately already occurred this year. Just last week, an 18-month-old child was found in a hot car and did not make it out alive. Despite external temperatures being in the mid-80’s, internal temperatures can reach upwards of 130-140 degrees, quickly causing death. We are now entering the hottest months in our area and the message couldn’t be more clear: children and pets die when left in cars. Soon you'll hear more about our annual Don’t Leave Me Behind campaign, but we need YOU to be vigilant and spread the word. Let’s not let this happen to one more vulnerable child or animal.

Bill Montgomery Signature

Mike McVey Leads with Broad Experience
and Judicial Temperament

Mike McVey in his Office

The central character of the book, “Blood and Thunder” is a soldier whose adventures made him a legend. And much like Kit Carson’s respect for and understanding of the people of the Western Territories in the mid 1800’s, the Honorable (retired) Michael (“Mike’) McVey brings this same sense of fairness mixed with authority and truth as the acting Chief Deputy of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
After nearly 40 years as an attorney—20 of them as a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge—Mike rejoined MCAO last fall as the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Group leading the more than 300 prosecutors in the Office, and last month he became the acting Chief Deputy of the Office expanding his scope of responsibility to include not only all prosecutors, but the Investigations, Victim Services and the Civil Services Divisions as well.
Mike’s lengthy tenure as a Judge was spent in the Criminal, Family, Juvenile and Civil Divisions of the Court, including multiple terms as both a Civil and Family Court judge. Mike thoroughly enjoyed his assignments and each rotation had its advantages; allowing him to understand how judicial decisions impact and affect human beings and how the best judges exhibit a temperament that includes patience, tact and courage along with a firm understanding of the issues and compassion for the community.
He not only acted as an arbitrator and mediator but also led with courage and knew what the right thing to do was even if it wasn’t the popular thing to do. All these are skills he is once again putting to the test as he leads in support of the County Attorney in the third largest County-based prosecution office in the country.
Following graduation from law school, Mike served as a City of Phoenix Prosecutor. He has been in and out of private practice and in the mid 1980’s he returned to what he loved the best, serving his community as a prosecutor, both here at MCAO and with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He has successfully prosecuted white collar criminals, drug cases including dangerous drug cartels, civil forfeiture actions, and homicides, including capital cases.
While a family court judge, he ruled in the custody hearing of the “Baby Gabriel” matter and while in the criminal courts, he was the judge on several high-profile matters, including the infamous Wayne Prince death penalty trial and the Walter Elze murder case out of Sun City.
A man who recognizes the value of organization, he ensures his desk is neatly pulled together each morning (with the help of a very organized assistant) before he dives into the multitude of emails and issues awaiting at the start of each work day. He doesn’t limit himself to only what’s going in his office either, Mike regularly walks the floors of the administration building as well as the other buildings that house the MCAO team. He talks to prosecutors, detectives and advocates and asks them about their concerns and new ideas on how to do things differently.
Mike is an avid hiker who treks through the Canadian Rockies when he can and he has recently taken up scuba diving. He is also an avid fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks and ASU Sun Devils. Mike reads
and reads and readsnot only the hundreds of emails in his box each day but lots of historical stories and biographies. In addition to “Blood and Thunder,” his current reading stack includes “Unbroken” by Lauren Hillenbrand and the latest biography on George H.W. Bush. These books present a universal theme of resilience, respect and tenacity that resembles Mike’s approach to his work and the Office. When asked about his feelings about MCAO, Mike stated, “I am extremely blessed and grateful for the opportunity to serve the County Attorney, and the wonderful men and women of MCAO in our mission to seek justice with integrity on behalf of the people of Maricopa County each and every day.”

Mr. McVey in Canada hiking

MCAO Provides Robust Legal Training for Prosecutors and Administrative Professionals

Laura Girard Training
Laura Girard Conducting a Training Class

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) knows that ongoing training is essential to a prosecutor’s development – and to the growth of administrative professionals. A solid training program helps Office staff cement an overall framework of criminal justice and office skills to build on throughout their entire career. MCAO has created an extensive and in-depth program through its Training Bureau that begins when all new employees first arrive at the Office and spreads throughout their professional lives. Training begins with New Employee Orientation for prosecutors and administrative professionals. New employees are introduced to things like fundamentals of prosecution, general office policies and procedures, training on the electronic case management system, an overview of public records law, volunteer opportunities with the Office and community outreach.
Then as employees continue to grow in their MCAO careers, they receive additional training in areas such as trial advocacy, grand jury procedures, homicide prosecution and critical case management skills. In addition, there are presentations and ad-hoc training classes that vary from year to year and may include national presenters, professionalism, successful investigations, stress relief techniques and crime analysis. The MCAO Training Bureau also offers ongoing programs that provide prosecutors with updates on new and changing legislation as well as specific skills required to prosecute unique types of cases, like animal crimes or strangulation cases.
Training extends beyond just prosecutors’ legal skills and includes professional development for paralegals. For those who wish to promote to leadership positions within the Office, many often participate in training related to time management and leadership skills. The MCAO Training Bureau is working to make all this and more happen! This team of five people, including two seasoned prosecutors, a long-time paralegal and administrative professional staff are developing hundreds of training opportunities for MCAO employees annually.
Ryan Green, Bureau Chief for the Training Bureau and recent recipient of the Arizona State Bar 2019 Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award, is working to make the criminal justice system better through training. He started a few years ago by speaking at the beginning of shifts at the Phoenix Police Department. Offering tips on topics such as how to improve report writing and probable cause forms. “I know I am helping to make prosecutors better,” said Ryan. “As prosecutors we represent each other and we all want each other to succeed. Through solid and important training, with prosecutors and law enforcement, we provide good tools and help people learn from their mistakes.”
The digital revolution is giving the Office and the Training Bureau more to think about and more to learn about. Tasks like preparing evidence for trial and getting ready for witnesses or juries is different today than it was ten years ago. As a result, the training group meets regularly and reviews a variety of publications, as well as talking to prosecutors and judges to ensure they are keeping up with the latest technology and are in turn preparing applicable training classes. Often, the prosecutors in the Training Bureau second chair trials so they can remain current and help prosecutors be successful at the same time.
Karen Pugh, a long-time MCAO prosecutor and recent addition to the training team, is excited at the opportunity to support our prosecutors, “We want to have an impact by supporting prosecutors and there is nothing better than seeing Deputy County Attorneys excel, it’s a phenomenal feeling.” Ryan agrees, “Prosecutors have tough jobs and we try to support them in the different ways they need it.”
Paralegal and administrative professional staff essentials are available not only to new hires but also to MCAO employees who have promoted or changed positions. Laura Girard and Patti Coman, two veteran MCAO employees with nearly 50 years of experience between them teach basic classes like Outlook and Excel but are also experts in (the Office’s body worn camera repository) and general office policies and procedures. Between the two of them, they can answer almost any question thrown their way. “What a great way to pass on everything I’ve learned,” said Patty. “With so many different subjects and an equal number of different students, no two days are the same.”

For more information on joining the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, visit:

Viaja con Seguridad este Cinco de Mayo
(Travel Safely this Cinco de Mayo)

This year the festivities surrounding Cinco de Mayo fall on a weekend and MCAO is encouraging party goers to plan ahead for a safe ride home by partnering with ride-sharing service Lyft and Banner Health for the “Save Lives, Don’t DUI” campaign. The goal of the partnership is to keep the number of incidents on our roadways caused by impaired drivers at ZERO.
“This campaign reminds people to plan ahead and eliminates one more excuse someone might have for not choosing a sober driver to get them home,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “We want our community to choose a way home that doesn’t pose a risk to themselves or others.”
Starting the weekend before and lasting until May 6, anyone can download the phone app and use the codes for a discounted ride. First-time users who download the Lyft app can get $5 off their first four rides by entering the promo code “CINCOPHX.” Those who already have the Lyft app can enter the code “CINCOPHX19” to receive 20% off two rides, allowing them to get to and from their celebrations safely.
“We're thrilled to partner with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to promote Lyft as a responsible ride option for people around Cinco de Mayo," said Drena Kusari, Lyft Southwest Region General Manager. “We encourage anyone, a new or existing user, to please download the app and put the discounts codes in now. This way when you’re ready to end your celebrations, it’s even easier to schedule your responsible ride home.”
“The last thing we ever want to see is a person brought into one of our trauma centers because they were involved in an alcohol-related accident that could have been prevented,” said Vicki Bennett, trauma service line administrator for Banner Health. “By continuing to partner on the ‘Save Lives, Don’t DUI’ campaign, we’re hoping to keep accident victims out of the hospital and get people to and from their destinations safely.”
The discounted rides offered through “Save Lives, Don’t DUI” has many riders paying $5 to $10, compared to the $5,000 to $10,000 they might spend on a DUI offense. If you want to learn more or are interested in downloading the phone app go to our website:

Save Lives, Don't DUI - Have a safe Cinco de Mayo with MCAO and Lyft - New user code: CINCOPHX for five dollars off four rides or for Current Users, use code: CINCOPHX19 for twenty percent off two rides. brought to you by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, iHeart Media, Lyft and Banner Health.

Moon Valley Students Get an Inside Look at
Careers in Criminal Justice

Moon Valley High School Citizens Academy

On April 12, the Moon Valley High School Police Science – Careers In Law Enforcement class had the opportunity to visit the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for a Teen Citizens Academy.
During the Academy, the class had the opportunity to meet professionals representing a variety of careers in law enforcement and criminal justice.
The day began with an overview of what the County Attorney’s Office does and how the role of a prosecutor is not to seek a conviction, but to seek justice on the merits of each case they handle.
The group then got a tour of the Superior Court and were able to see court proceedings first-hand. They even got to speak with a Superior Court judge who gave them some insight into how each case is handled in an objective and fair manner.

Moon Valley High School Students with Elle
When the class arrived back from their tour, they were greeted by two of our Victim Services dogs, Elle and Tori, who help crime victims—especially young children—have comfort and confidence to go through an often-emotional trial process.
Prosecutor Samantha Caplinger spoke to the group about how she became interested in the career and what she needed to do to get the right education and ultimately get a job with MCAO. County Attorney Bill Montgomery stopped by too, to talk about the challenges he faced and how he overcame them to become a successful prosecutor.
The day ended with a presentation from MCAO’s Trial Exhibit Specialist, Gary Hodges, who showed the students the types of audio and visual presentations that he creates for trial and how they help jurors better understand a crime scene or other details of a case that may be complicated or technical in nature.
“Our students are on a quest to find careers and we were so impressed with the career opportunities with your department, as well as with the County. It was a great event to expose them to what their future could be and all of your staff were so personable and welcoming, such that the students could truly envision themselves being successful too! This opened their minds to many other possibilities that they had not considered,” said Detective Jill Fowler, Police Science co-teacher.
The Moon Valley High School Police Science class has been in place since 2008 – 11 successful years. It was created and is maintained by Sergeant Stephen Wamsley, Phoenix retired, and this was the first time a visit to MCAO has been included in its curriculum.
“I can tell you the discussions we had as a class after were very favorable with regards to looking at the different career opportunities available to them,” said Seargent Wamsley.
Moon Valley High School Citizens Academy Class Photo

Honoring Those Dedicated to Ensuring the Rights of Crime Victims

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2019 Artwork

During the month of April, The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office joined many across Arizona and the nation in honoring and recognizing those who advocate on behalf of crime victims during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). Under the national theme of “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future,” it was Arizona’s official 36th annual observance of NCVRW, and MCAO was proud to take part in two separate events to raise awareness for victims’ rights and show our gratitude to the members of our Office who work tirelessly on behalf of victims.
On April 9, MCAO held an internal Victims’ Rights Week awards ceremony to recognize members of the Office and community who have excelled in helping to create hope for the future in a victim’s life. The awards were given to the following recipients; Lou Giaquinto received the Service Legacy Award, Karla Ortiz received the Special Courage Award and Sharon Leonard received the Unsung Hero Award. Then, as a group, the Victim Compensation Bureau received the Enhanced Collaboration Award and together Dara Newton, Denise Lian, BriAnne Lange, Amanda Rodriguez, Colleen Hendricks and Enrique Prado received the Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award.
The following day, members of the Office gathered as the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office was a proud partner of a statewide award NCVRW event at the El Zaribah Shrine Auditorium in Phoenix. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery honored Appeals Bureau Chief Diane Meloche with the Justice for All award for her decades of service fighting to protect the rights of victims.
While national “Crime Victims’ Week” was originally proclaimed by President Ronald in 1981 to recognize the importance of giving crime victims a voice in the criminal justice system, it was not until 1984 that Congress passed the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) which secured legal rights, protections, and services for victims of crime.
Arizona became one of the first states to introduce a constitutional amendment guaranteeing specific rights for crime victims in 1988. Additionally, in 1990, Arizona voters overwhelmingly passed an initiative creating the Arizona Victims’ Bill of Rights and in 1991 legislation was implemented guaranteeing specific rights for crime victims including the right to be present at criminal proceedings, to be heard in court and to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect. Our state also provides a range of support services, including financial assistance, to help crime victims and their families cope with the multiple impacts of a serious crime. To learn more about Victim’ Rights and services for victims visit our website

Annual MEGA Shred-A-Thon Brings
Peace of Mind to County Residents

In conjunction with Tax Day on April 15, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office once again joined with International Paper and Arizona’s Family Channels 3/5 to bring the Mega Shred-A-Thon to Maricopa County residents. MCAO volunteers collected an estimated 442,000 pounds of paper that were shredded that day, equaling about 221 tons, beating last year's total of 220 tons.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery noted that events like this are what helped Arizona fall from No. 1 in identity theft to No 8. “There's greater awareness among Arizonans about what kind of documents could go into contributing to identity theft and then taking advantage of our Mega Shred-A-Thon helps prevent being a victim,” said Montgomery.

Mega Shred

Springtime Scammers

As we have been enjoying the Spring season in the Valley of the Sun, scammers have been enjoying the season too; they are taking advantage of tax season to scare us into sending money that we don’t owe the government or hoping to trick a new college graduate into falling for a job scam.

Here are a few things to watch out for:

Fake Caller ID
Scammers are clever and can use very convincing techniques to make us believe a phone call is legitimate. With available technology, a scammer can falsify a phone number and name on caller ID to make it appear to be a legitimate number or business. Do not give your personal information to the caller.

Scammer 1 Fake Caller ID
Scammer 2 Asking for Payment via Gift Card

Asking for Payment via Gift Card
Beware of anyone asking for payment with a gift card, the most common being iTunes or Google Play, as it may likely be a scam. Scammers may also ask you to send money via wire transfer or send cash in the mail. Legitimate businesses do not need a gift card to accept payment.

Malware Links in Emails
If you receive emails or text messages with links from an unknown or untrusted source, DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. Any email that asks you to re-enter your name and password to reactivate an account should be treated with suspicion.  If your bank or other service needs information from you, go to their website to find their contact information and reach out to them directly rather than click a link on an email. Scammers can mimic official logos to trick you.

Often, these links allow malware to be installed on your computer. The result: your bank accounts could be drained.

Scammer 3 Malware Links in Emails
Scammer 4 Giving You Money

Someone is Giving or Returning Your Money
Be suspicious if someone tells you that they owe YOU money and just want your account information to complete the reimbursement. Don’t fall for it. You will not find a deposit, but you might find your money is missing.

Scammer 5 Fake Job Opportunities

Fake Job Opportunities
College graduates should be aware of job scams.  With online job sites being the most common place to search for a position, young adults need to be wary. Do research on a company before applying online. Some warning signs:

  • A job posting requests personal information, but the job doesn’t really exist.
  • A “new hire” receives a check in the mail for thousands of dollars, told to deposit this check and then return a portion of the funds to pay for job costs.  The victim discovers the check is a fake and is out the money sent to the scammers. 

In general, when you receive a suspicious call, text or email, have a prepared response ready and take the time to check into it further.  If you receive any calls demanding immediate payment, ask for their contact information and tell the caller you will call back. Once you hang up, look up the business’ customer service number from a reliable source to verify whether a payment is actually owed. Always talk to a trusted friend or family member and take the time to research the call if you suspect it is not legitimate.

Community Calendar

Upcoming Events Calendar

Cinco Phoenix Festival

Sunday, May 5
12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Downtown Phoenix - City Hall
200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Coffee with the Community

Saturday, May 18
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Verrado Coffee Company
1829 North Verrado Way
Buckeye, AZ 85396

Cases of Community Interest

Mugshot Justin Allee

Justin Allee Sentenced to 22 Years for Killing 44-Day Old Daughter

Justin Allee was sentenced to 22 years in the Department of Corrections after being found guilty by a jury of child abuse for violently shaking his infant daughter causing significant brain injuries.
“A parent who causes such significant harm to their child like this must be held fully accountable for their actions,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “The degree to which any society can be judged civilized is, in part, to the degree that we protect and defend the most innocent and defenseless among us,” Montgomery added.

» View Full Story «

Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus