Maricopa County Attorney Candidate Survey:
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Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long?
Yes, since 2019
Please describe your political ideology. Are you conservative, moderate, pro-liberty, etc.?
I am a constitutional conservative who was raised on the principles of the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater - protecting freedom, limited government, low taxes, public safety and preserving the American Dream.
What is the proper role of government?
Government’s first obligation is to protect public safety in order to preserve freedom. Government’s powers should be limited to those that are delegated by the people. The United States Constitution and Arizona’s State Constitution both make this perfectly clear.
Why are you running for Maricopa County Attorney?
Over the past few years we have seen cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Portland become uninhabitable because of rising crime and negative attitudes towards law enforcement. For years, cities like these have chipped away at prosecution policies to the point where there are no longer consequences for criminals. We can’t let that happen here in Maricopa County. We need leadership in that office that will focus on the public safety principles and policies that will best protect our communities. Additionally, the past few years have shown the importance of the civil representation that the county attorney provides to county agencies and the Board of Supervisors. We need to ensure that the county agencies understand their legal responsibilities and limitations in order to ensure a limited form of government.
What qualifies you to be the next Maricopa County Attorney?
With almost 18 years working with law enforcement agencies and government, I provide a unique set of experiences to oversee the third largest prosecutorial office in the nation. On the criminal side, I have assisted and advised on criminal cases from the determination of reasonable suspicion and probable cause all the way through to conviction. I have trained law enforcement on issues such as search and seizure, first amendment and immigration law. I reviewed officer-involved shooting cases and advised on the legal issues related to those cases. I was part of the senior team that turned around a statewide law enforcement agency where morale had declined and the public had no clear understanding of the mission. I have also reviewed and advised on every single criminal justice issue in the past 14 years. On the civil side, for the past five years, I have supervised the legal counsel in state agencies such as health, tax, child safety, and of course, law enforcement. I have also vetted and interviewed prospective judges in Arizona, ensuring we have strict textualists on the bench.
Describe your platform. If elected, what do you plan to accomplish as Maricopa County Attorney?
As Maricopa County Attorney, I plan to accomplish four things. First, restore confidence and integrity to the office. Line level prosecutors wear the white hats, without them, arrests mean nothing. We need to ensure that our community understands the noble role of prosecutors in supporting and defending the Constitution and the laws of our state. Second, we need to ensure our community is safe. That begins with sound criminal justice policies designed to put public safety at the center of all that we do. It includes building and maintaining relationships with law enforcement, community leaders and citizens. We need to use data to determine where to apply resources and make it clear that violent crime and multiple repeat offenders will be vigorously prosecuted. This includes border-related crime which flows up into Maricopa County and affects our communities. Third, I will uphold the constitutional and statutory rights of victims. Our state constitution promises to victims that they will have justice and due process; I will do everything in my power to fulfill that promise. Finally, I will ensure that the county has the finest civil legal department in the state, with an eye towards limiting government overreach through legal interpretation.
What criminal justice reforms do you support and/or oppose?
The purpose of the criminal justice system is to define conduct that is unacceptable, fairly identify those who engage in criminal conduct, set the appropriate consequences for such conduct, and provide justice for victims. I support diversion programs for non-dangerous offenders that address drug addiction, alcohol abuse and other issues that may result in criminal activity, with the goal of reducing recidivism. Such programs though should not infringe on public safety or victims’ rights.
What do you believe is the role between the County Attorney's office and the local police departments?
The county attorney’s office and local police departments need to be partners. Without arrests, there can be no prosecution and without prosecution the arrests are meaningless. Both parties must work together to enforce the law. The county attorney fulfills another role though and that is to ensure that justice is served for both the victims and the defendants. My pledge is to respect and enhance the police function throughout our county.
What do you believe is the role between the County Attorney's office and federal law enforcement departments?
The county attorney’s office and federal law enforcement departments serve as partners as well. There are many interjurisdictional issues that result in the involvement of federal law enforcement for the protection of the people in Maricopa County.
Should riots break out again in our cities where property damage, theft, and violence occurs, how would you handle it as the chief prosecutor?
First, law enforcement is the first responder for such criminal behavior. As the County Attorney you need to know what type of training and policies that the law enforcement agencies have in place for such incidents. It is the law enforcement agency’s responsibility to identify the criminal activity and submit charges. I would be hands-on and available to help law enforcement deal with these difficult issues of charging such cases. This cooperation with law enforcement will start early in my service as County Attorney. Waiting for the next crisis will be too late.
As violence continues to surge in our County, what role should the Maricopa County Attorney play in making our communities safe again?
It needs to start with the aggressive prosecution of dangerous, violent, and repeat offenders. We must restore faith that lawlessness will not be tolerated. The County Attorney needs to be out in the community connecting with people to understand their concerns. Relationships need to be forged and maintained with all law enforcement partners and the courts, along with those in our faith community, with victims groups, and government and community leaders.
What role should the Maricopa County Attorney's office play in preventing and providing justice when violent crimes against children occur?
Children are our most precious part of our society. They are our future and once their innocence is taken away, it can not be gotten back. I will insist on aggressive prosecution of our Dangerous Crimes Against Children laws. I will work closely with the Department of Child Safety and together we will focus on child safety as the main focus of our work. Our goal should always be to protect our children from any harm. But when the unthinkable happens, the County Attorney must work with community partners and family resource centers to ensure that children involved in crime are treated gently and can begin to address the trauma they have suffered.
What role should the Maricopa County Attorney's office play in protecting election integrity?
As the legal advisor to the County Recorder’s Office and the Board of Supervisors, the County Attorney’s office must have an intimate knowledge of election law and how elections work. The role requires working with these clients to follow all laws and ensure that the public can have a clear understanding of and confidence in the processes and procedures of how an election is run. We must also be ready to prosecute those who would corrupt our elections.
What role should the Maricopa County Attorney's office play in preventing and providing justice when domestic violence crimes occur?
Our goal should always be to protect the vulnerable from harm but when domestic violence occurs, the County Attorney must work with the victims to ensure an effective prosecution while protecting the dignity and rights of the victim. Such cases can be difficult due to family dynamics and great care must be taken when possible to break the cycle of domestic violence. There are many programs and community groups which the County Attorney’s Office should partner with (and I believe they already do) in order to help prevent domestic violence and provide resources for those victimized.
What is your position on the DOJ investigation into the Phoenix Police Department?
No one is tougher on law enforcement than they are on themselves. It is unfortunate that the Phoenix Police Department has come under this scrutiny but I understand Chief Williams' response of welcoming it. The men and women of the Phoenix Police Department work hard everyday to protect our community and to date, I have seen nothing that leads me to believe the DOJ decision will result in any subsequent findings.
Do you support or oppose a two-state solution in Israel?
What benchmarks will you use to measure the work ethic and performance of your prosecutors as the Maricopa County Attorney?
I am a big fan of data but not data for data’s sake. We need to use data to understand why we are doing the things we are doing. For instance, are we taking pleas in the right cases, do prosecutors have manageable caseloads. The benchmarks should not solely be about the number of convictions but are we taking cases to trial with the right information and evidence. We need a robust performance system that is not used as a hammer but as a wrench to provide continuing improvement. One very important metric would be about victims and whether they were receiving the appropriate notifications and contacted regularly,. Finally, I am a big fan of regular meetings with teams to review data and adjust performance rather than waiting until monthly, quarterly or annual reviews.
Please feel free to add any additional information you would like primary voters to know about your candidacy.
My career has been dedicated to law enforcement and public safety, both at DPS and then in the Governor’s Office. I am prepared to assume the leadership of this office to fight for public safety and the rights of crime victims. In addition to being an attorney though, I am a mom and a member of this community. When I say I want to keep families safe, I’m speaking not just as a public servant but as a parent who sees the impact rising crime is having on our neighborhoods. I’m also a cancer survivor, and worked everyday through my treatment. I will bring that same work ethic and dedication to the job of County Attorney.