A mentor and predecessor of Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel says her office is in turmoil as questions about her ability to deal with her sobriety issues mount.
Former county attorney Rick Romley tells The Arizona Republic that members of her office have told him morale is at an all-time low.
“They say she is never there,” Romley said. “They say she is in over her head, and they have lost confidence…It really saddens me.”
As county attorney, Adel oversees the third-largest prosecutorial agency in the country.
County supervisors have also raised worry that Adel has not attended key meetings or weighed in on issues like the Arizona Senate’s so-called audit of 2020 election ballots tabulated in the county.
Adel, however, disputed the claims and called them “hearsay and conjecture.”
“If Mr. Romley is concerned, I wish he’d picked up the phone and talked to me,” Adel said.
She attributed the low morale to her office in the state’s most populous county being understaffed.
In November 2020, when she was elected, Adel had to undergo emergency surgery election night for a brain bleed. She was back full-time by the following spring. In August, she went to rehab for alcohol abuse, an eating disorder and other issues. In September, she confirmed she was working remotely from an out-of-state treatment facility.
Adel dismissed concerns and said on Sept. 17 that doctors approved her to return to work.