Supervisors approve $1 million reorganization of Pinal County Attorney’s Office

Voyles.jpg

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles

By Chase Kamp

Copper Area News

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors approved a reorganization proposal by County Attorney Lando Voyles that will ultimately add a total of 30 new paralegal and administrative positions to the office at a cost of about $1 million this fiscal year.

Voyles told the Board the additional employees would allow for more trials and prosecutions of violent crime suspects. He amplified his election claim that the previous administration was soft on violent crime, alleging that since 2010, 67 percent of violent cases charged by the office with mandatory prison-time did not serve any jail time.

During the election, Voyles asserted the number was around 61 percent.

Among the changes, the move will expand the office from three to six bureaus and expand the number of paralegals to ensure more cases are taken to trial, Voyles explained.

The Board voted in a 3-2 split. Chairman Steve Miller, a Republican, said he supported Voyles’ efforts but argued for a slower and less costly revamping of the office, saying the added cost to the court and prison systems could bolster the actual bill by several million dollars.

“It goes farther than just this million,” Miller said before voting against the measure. “I want [Voyles] to succeed in the worst way but … I want to achieve it with a smaller machine,” Miller said.

District 5 Supervisor Todd House, voting in favor of the proposal, argued for prioritizing public safety in the budget. “We want to be known as a safe County,” he said.

The office restructuring comes weeks after Voyles let go of a dozen County lawyers and attorneys upon taking office in what some in the Arizona law community dubbed “the Pinal massacre.”

In early Jan., Voyles said his office was investigating a theft by a former employee and cited the incident as proof of mismanagement by the previous administration. Supervisors of the employee were terminated.

Previous County Attorney James Walsh said he alerted the Voyles campaign of the situation during the transition period and that the new County Attorney was wrongly criticizing his staff.

Walsh said his office discovered the theft in the adult deferred prosecution and diversion program, when a supervisor uncovered irregularities in collected fees.

It was determined that an employee was responsible for a missing check, one Walsh estimated to be less than $1,000. The Casa Grande Police Department was brought in for an investigation, as well as a forensic expert, and the employee was put on administrative leave.

The employee resigned on the spot when told of the investigation, Walsh said. The investigation was not complete by the time Walsh left office.

Walsh said the new County Attorney is entitled to hire or fire at will, but he framed Voyles’ comments as defamatory. “Don’t accuse my office and the people that worked there of mismanagement,” he said. “You can’t just fire at-will employees and then start besmirching their reputations and character.”

Richard Wintery, Voyles’ chief deputy County Attorney, is being targeted for an investigation by the State Bar of Arizona on the request of a Pima County judge for possible ethics violations.

Leave a Reply

  • Latest News

    Pastor’s Corner: Celebrating the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

    April 15th, 2014
    by

    In John 19:28-30 we read these words:  “Knowing that all was now completed and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled,


    Cross country runner makes stop in Superior to help veterans

    April 15th, 2014
    by

    Anna Judd, a 29-year-old resident of Orange County, has set out on a mission to run across America to raise money and awareness for veterans.


    Superior Little League parade is Monday

    April 15th, 2014
    by

    The Superior Little League will kick off its 2014 Major and Minor Baseball and Softball League seasons with the annual Little League Parade on Monday, April 21.


    Superior Public Library celebrates National Library Week: Lives Change @ Your Library

    April 15th, 2014
    by

    Libraries and librarians have a powerful and positive impact on the lives of Americans on a daily basis.


  • More Stories

    Raised medians remain irritant as U.S. 60 widening project set to begin this summer; Superior Chamber of Commerce continues efforts to convince ADOT to retain left turns at Belmont

    January 15th, 2014
    by

    By James J. Hodl Superior Sun Get ready! The widening of U.S. 60 from two to four lanes – including […]


    November funding override rejects leave Pinal County school districts in grim mood; Only Casa Grande succeeds as other districts eye program and job cuts

    December 30th, 2013
    by

    By James J. Hodl Copper Area News November 5 was a bad day for school override referendum in Pinal County. […]


    Rios: Pinal County waste disposal voucher program to begin January 6, 2014

    December 30th, 2013
    by

    Pinal County Supervisor Pete Rios is pleased to announce that the Waste Disposal Voucher Program for 2014 will begin Wednesday, […]


    Mayor Valenzuela: publishing photo was in ‘bad’ taste

    December 23rd, 2013
    by

    Superior Mayor Jayme Valenzuela read a statement critical of the Superior Sun’s coverage of the town clean up during the […]


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin