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Maricopa County Attorney's Office leaders ask Allister Adel to resign

Five criminal division leaders with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office have issued a letter calling for County Attorney Allister Adel to resign.

The letter sent to the County Board of Supervisors cites “grave concerns” over Adel’s decision-making and ability to perform her job.

The letter cites relapses in Adel’s alcohol abuse, maltreatment of employees and workplace absences.

According to the letter, on Feb. 10, Adel had public information officer Jennifer Liewer escorted out of the building and ordered her “assigned at home” and not to have contact with other employees. This was after Liewer had submitted a three-week notice of her own resignation, citing an untenable situation.

In 2020, Adel underwent emergency surgery on election night for a brain bleed after a fall. She went to rehab for alcohol abuse, an eating disorder and other issues the following August, and in September, she confirmed she was working from an out-of-state treatment facility.

Adel released this statement Tuesday afternoon: 

“As has been reported in the media, five attorneys in my office have submitted a letter asking me to resign. While I respect their opinion, I vehemently disagree with the characterization of me in this letter, and I have no plans to resign. I am honored to have been duly elected county attorney and will continue to perform my duties as I was elected to do.  In an office of over 1,000 employees, it is not surprising that there are some who do not agree with every decision I make. I accept the current challenge with humility and will continue to do what I think is right and just for the citizens of this community.”

An emailed statement from County Supervisor Bill Gates read, in part, "As a friend of Ms. Adel's, I am concerned for her health and well-being as she works on her sobriety; as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, I am committed to supporting County Attorney's Office staff and operations during this challenging time."


Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.