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CANDIDATE  SURVEYS 

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Maricopa County Attorney Candidate Survey:
Gina Godbehere

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Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long?

 

Yes, for one year.

Please describe your political ideology. Are you conservative, moderate, pro-liberty, etc.?

 

Conservative

What is the proper role of government?

 

To protect our citizens from foreign adversaries, enforce our laws, maintain an impartial and reliable justice system, and protect individual rights.

 

 

Why are you running for Maricopa County Attorney?

 

I have always cared for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office from the inception of my career as a prosecutor. I went to law school to be a prosecutor, and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office is the only office where I applied. I passionately worked there for 25 years fighting for victims of crime. I am running to restore the integrity and community trust of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. I am concerned about the internal issues within the County Attorney's Office, as well as the dangerous anti-police rhetoric that has made our law enforcement officers targets, emboldened criminals and resulted in rising crime levels across this Country.

 

 

What qualifies you to be the next Maricopa County Attorney?

 

Prior to accepting the position of the Goodyear City Prosecutor, I spent 25 years working in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office (MCAO) as a prosecutor defending the Constitution and protecting our community. I considered it a high honor to stand beside my colleagues as we advocated for victims of crime. During my time at MCAO, I served as a Bureau Chief and trial attorney in assignments with a wide variety of bureaus, including Juvenile, Gang, Homicide and the Repeat Offender Unit. I have tried 100 felony jury trials, and managed and mentored hundreds of attorneys. I have had the privilege of serving as a Bureau Chief for over 16 years in both the Juvenile and Trial Bureaus, under four different County Attorneys. I understand the organization and the job at hand, and I have the experience and skills necessary to take the helm on day one. The public must know that the Maricopa County Attorney is a fair-minded advocate for justice with a record to offer that confidence. My years as a violent crimes prosecutor, combined with my commitment to the youth of our state, have provided a clear picture of my core values and a heart to do what is right within our community.

 

 

Describe your platform. If elected, what do you plan to accomplish as Maricopa County Attorney?

 

I understand the workings and functions of the Maricopa County Attorneys's Office, therefore on my first day I will equipped to begin restoring the Integrity and Community trust of the office. I will also continue to uphold the Constitution and the laws of Arizona, ensure that victims are protected, and criminals are held responsible.

 

 

What criminal justice reforms do you support and/or oppose?

 

I was part of the implementation teams that created the first Juvenile Drug Court and the Juvenile Transfer Offender Program (JTOP). Currently, I have been working with the Goodyear Municipal Court on implementing the first Community Court for the City of Goodyear. I have always supported diversion programs and speciality courts. I support a balanced approach to criminal justice. Criminal Justice Reform should never come at the expense of victims of crimes, especially violent crimes.

 

 

What do you believe is the role between the County Attorney's office and the local police departments?

 

Local police departments are our criminal justice partners. Although we have different roles and work independently from each other, we should work collaboratively together to protect our community. The County Attorney's Office should also assist in officer training, and join our law enforcement partners in community engagement, including community education and prevention.

 

 

What do you believe is the role between the County Attorney's office and federal law enforcement departments?

 

We should have the same role as we do with our local police partners. The County Attorney's Office is tasked with reviewing reports and filing charges that meet our charging standards and jurisdictional requirements. We should also partner with our local federal law enforcement departments in community engagement and officer training.

 

 

Should riots break out again in our cities where property damage, theft, and violence occurs, how would you handle it as the chief prosecutor?

I will be present and involved in the staffings. If riots break out, I will ensure that the bureau that is tasked with reviewing these submittals have the resources needed to review the matters to determine if any felonies were committed. If it is determined that we have no chargeable felonies, then law enforcement will be quickly notified so that the submittal can be referred to the City Prosecutor's Officer for misdemeanor consideration. If any felony or assaults on Law Enforcement charges meet the filing standard of "reasonable likelihood of conviction," charges will be filed and the offender will be prosecuted.

 

 

As violence continues to surge in our County, what role should the Maricopa County Attorney play in making our communities safe again?

 

The County Attorney should hold criminals accountable and advocate on behalf of the community for appropriate bonds for violent offenders. Additionally, the County Attorney needs to work with law enforcement to identify repeat offenders, and to help engage communities to work collaboratively with the police. The County Attorney should also continue efforts at Education and Prevention that keep our communities safe by helping to prevent crimes and divert at risk youth from our criminal justice system.

 

 

What role should the Maricopa County Attorney's office play in preventing and providing justice when violent crimes against children occur?

 

The prosecutor's office should fully prosecute the offender. I support MCAO policies on Dangerous Crimes against Children cases. I have personally tried a number of assaults, kidnappings, and sexual assault cases. These are some of the most difficult and heart-wrenching cases handled in the County Attorney's Office. In the area of prevention, the County Attorney should actively work with non-profits and police departments to promote education about the dangers of internet safety and sex trafficking.

 

 

What role should the Maricopa County Attorney's office play in protecting election integrity?

 

First and foremost, my job as County Attorney is to prosecute those who break our law and advise our county agencies. Should we determine any laws were broken, I will seek charges against the wrongdoers, no matter the issue. As we have seen in previous years, elections have not always gone smoothly. We must remember that Maricopa County had problems in 2018. From polling locations being closed, to equipment failures to "emergency voting centers" popping up around the valley, and there was mistrust in our system. In the aftermath, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, along with state legislators took steps to correct many of these issues. As County Attorney, I plan to create an Election Integrity Task Force that will work to ensure all of our laws are enforced. This includes providing advice and guidance to the Board of Supervisors and the Recorder. Using this collaborative approach, I believe we can root out any potential problems and ensure that in Maricopa County we will have free and fair elections. Let me be clear, if there is evidence our election laws were broken, the offender will be prosecuted.

What role should the Maricopa County Attorney's office play in preventing and providing justice when domestic violence crimes occur?

 

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office should use traditional criminal prosecution and utilize diversion programs, especially at the misdemeanor level. Diversion will allow families to get the help they need, with the goal of preventing violence from escalating.

 

 

What is your position on the DOJ investigation into the Phoenix Police Department?

 

The Phoenix Police Department has been under incredible stress for the past two years. The riots were unprecedented in our State's history. Phoenix PD had a difficult situation with staffing shortages and stress from a global pandemic. This DOJ Investigation continues to put the Department and officers under intense scrutiny that makes it difficult to do their job. Without knowing all the details of the investigation, I am hopeful it will be resolved quickly so the Phoenix Police Department can focus on our rising crime rates and protection of our community.

 

 

What benchmarks will you use to measure the work ethic and performance of your prosecutors as the Maricopa County Attorney?

As attorneys we are under certain ethical obligations, and specifically as prosecutors we have the additional duty to seek justice. As a Bureau Chief with years of experience working with line-attorneys, I believe in Annual evaluations which measure data, including trials and charging criteria. It is important to also consider consider professionalism in dealing with victims, law enforcement officers, and the courts. A thorough review of attorneys case resolutions is also necessary to ensure they are showing good judgement and can competently and effectively manage their caseload.

Please feel free to add any additional information you would like primary voters to know about your candidacy.