Phoenix, AZ – Today, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors appointed Rachel Mitchell as interim county attorney. This marks the second time in four years that a majority of the Board ignored community demands to make the appointment process transparent and refrained from appointing a candidate who is seeking office in the forthcoming election. Instead, the Board of Supervisors chose from an applicant pool that consisted of the three Republican candidates who are running for the Maricopa County Attorney seat in November 2022.
Anni Foster, Gina Godbehere, and Rachel Mitchell were asked to respond to three questions and participated in closed-door interviews with the Board. There was no opportunity for public comment prior to announcing their decision Wednesday morning.
“The Maricopa County Attorney's Office (MCAO) desperately needs a leader who will clean up the corruption and misconduct plaguing the office, not someone who will be busy campaigning in the upcoming election,” said ACLU of Arizona Smart Justice campaign strategist, K.M. Bell. “Voters must be allowed to decide who the next Maricopa County Attorney will be – without the huge advantage that incumbency provides.”
“Each of the three candidates expressed an interest in building public trust if selected for the role, but that effort should have started with the appointment process determined by the Board,” said Khalil Rushdan, organizing director at the ACLU of Arizona. “We hope Rachel Mitchell will use the next six months to listen to the voices of impacted people and work to reform the office as interim county attorney. Leading up to Election Day, the ACLU of Arizona Campaign for Smart Justice will be focusing our efforts to ensure Maricopa County voters understand the critical role MCAO plays in our criminal justice system.”