Allister Adel, former Maricopa County Attorney, passes away at 45

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Former Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel died at the age of 45. Adel’s family confirmed her death, citing “health complications.” Adel died 6-weeks after she resigned amid controversy over her job performance, including absences due to alcohol and eating disorders. Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley was among those who supported Adel early on but later called for her resignation. Rick Romley joins us now…

“I was shocked, I did not expect it. And then of course the sadness set in,” Romley responded when asked what his initial thought was after the passing of Adel.

He said that he felt sadness that she was so young and has two children.

Romley mentioned that the position of Maricopa County Attorney has a lot of pressure and especially being the first woman in that position.

“You have a great responsibility being there. But being the first one, is a bit of a trailblazer. She was a trailblazer by being the very first woman.”

Romley believed Adel was a rising star within prosecution, “that’s the reason I endorsed her and I supported her for her election. She was very articulate, able to synthesize very complicated issues and make it very understandable to the average person. I thought that she had the world before her and I was very happy to endorse her.”

Early on in her position, Romley shared he felt Adel did a lot of good things.

“She had to turn the office around in some aspects…some programs were dropped for example, the adoption program that used to be with the County Attorney’s office had gone away so she recreated that which is a real asset to the community…she created a public integrity department which I thought was absolutely critical for a law enforcement office.”

Adel did not take a leave of absence in her time being Maricopa County Attorney but Romley believes things may have been different if she did.

“If she would have honestly addressed her alcohol or drinking issues I thought that she could come back even stronger…who doesn’t have their faults and their challenges in their life.”

Rick Romley, Former Maricopa County Attorney

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