From time to time, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is required, under state law, to appoint people to vacated countywide or statewide elected positions.
Over the past couple of years, this board has appointed justices of the peace, constables and even legislators.
Supervisors Gates, Hickman, Chucri, and Gallardo also had to fill an open position on the Board of Supervisors several months ago. I’m honored that out of 13 candidates they chose me to fill that position.
Each vacancy that comes to this board is met with a great deal of thought and consideration.
Who is qualified for the job? Who would best represent those constituents? Who has a good chance of sticking around for the long-term?
In my time as a supervisor, there has never been an appointment that carried quite as much consequence as our recent appointment of Allister Adel as Maricopa County Attorney.
The county’s chief prosecutor plays a significant role in ensuring the security and well-being of our residents.
The county attorney leads an office of more than 900 full-time employees including attorneys, investigators, paralegals, victim advocates, and support staff.
This group is responsible for prosecuting all felonies that occur in Maricopa County and all misdemeanors that occur in unincorporated areas.
As importantly, the county attorney helps shape the discussion about law and order in our community.
His or her priorities and approach to prosecution impact the region in myriad ways, not all of which are immediately obvious.
I believe Bill Montgomery, the former County Attorney, served us well in pursuing justice. He was a valuable advisor to the board who brought clarity to complex issues and decency to debates.
I knew choosing his replacement would be difficult, but I’m proud of how we, as a board, approached it.
My colleagues and I wanted the community to have a voice in this decision so we set up a webpage where we posted the candidates’ application packets and a form for people to send their comments to us.
I appreciate those who contacted us. We also appointed a diverse, seven-member citizen advisory committee to screen and interview the eight candidates.
These committee members did a phenomenal job on a tight timeline. I am grateful for their time and insight.
The committee recommended five candidates to us for final consideration.
Allister Adel rose to the top of the list because not only was she a successful prosecutor, she also had experience as an administrator.
I felt that experience was crucial for someone expected to come in and run an organization as large and varied as the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
County Attorney Adel knows this place. She served as deputy county attorney from 2004-2011 where she prosecuted several high-profile cases. Following that, she led ADOT’s Executive Hearing Office, managing 45 employees and an annual budget of three million dollars.
From there, she provided legal counsel to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, ensuring their compliance with the laws, among many other things. She was also the executive director of the Arizona Bar Association.
As a talented prosecutor and capable administrator, County Attorney Adel will be a great addition to the county team.
I am proud of her unanimous appointment by the board, excited that she is the first woman in county history to serve in this position, and anxious to work together in the pursuit of justice in our fast-growing county.
Jack Sellers is a Chandler resident and a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.