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Apache County attorney under investigation; Arizona AG takes over office

Apache County Attorney Michael Whiting is under investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for allegedly misusing public monies and for threatening and intimidating a political opponent.

The AG’s office will now take over his office for 90 days.

On Monday, Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes served a warrant on the Apache County Attorney’s Office and the county attorney’s residence. 

On Friday, Mayes wrote to the Apache County Board of Supervisors to tell them her chief deputy has been granted authority to make decisions in the absence of Whiting, who hasn’t returned to the office in days. 

Leaders within the county attorney’s office have requested that he resign.

Mayes said in her letter that she intends to assist the county’s office, not control it.

Going forward, Mayes said the county attorney’s office will provide monthly reports to her criminal division. If Whiting returns, he’ll have to get approval from her criminal division “before making personnel decisions or expending more than $200.”

A spokesperson for Mayes said the warrant issued is sealed by the court and the office has no other comments.

The county attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the state Bar confirmed that a complaint has been filed against Whiting. 

“Pursuant to Rule 70 Ariz. R. Sup. Ct., the state Bar confirms that a charge has been received that is currently in the pre-screening process. There is no public information or documents available,” Communications Officer Joe Hengemuehler said.

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Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.